POLICE patrols are to be stepped up in Balloch after a spate of anti-social incidents during the early weeks of this summer.

British Transport Police (BTP) says it is increasing patrols using targeted operations in the village after dealing with 36 anti-social behaviour incidents in the area since April.

On two occasions so far this summer, teenagers have been taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries after assaults in Balloch Park, while residents have complaioned the park, and much of hte village, has become a "no-go zone" for locals because of anti-social behaviour by visiting yobs.

The patrols in Balloch and other stations along the line are part of the Safe Summer Plan which involves BTP officers, Police Scotland, ScotRail and local authorities working together to reduce anti-social behaviour and ensure that everyone can enjoy their days out safely.  

BTP is also targeting stations in Ayrshire after a steep rise in anti-social behaviour, much of it involving visitors to the area.

BTP Inspector Alasdair McWhirter said: “Through partnership working with Police Scotland and ScotRail we’re working tirelessly to deter criminality and anti-social behaviour on the railway network, and we’re stepping up our patrols in West Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire using targeted operations.

"As passenger numbers on the railway increase as Covid restrictions lift, we will have more officers at key routes and stations across the network, including Balloch and stations in Ayrshire, to ensure the safety of everyone using it.

“We want people to look after themselves this summer and enjoy themselves, and we ask everyone to be sensible and considerate of other passengers.

"If we do get called out to anti-social behaviour incidents we will take action as the railway needs to be a safe place for everyone using the network.

“Becoming a victim of crime remains extremely low in the area and the majority of people using the railway these places have been enjoying the good weather responsibly.

“Passengers continue to be our eyes and ears and they can help us by reporting crimes and concerns by texting 61016.”