POLICE in West Dunbartonshire have launched their annual campaign to keep visitors to the Balloch and Loch Lomond area safe over the summer months.

Operation Ballaton will see officers work alongside partners from British Transport Police, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, ScotRail, West Dunbartonshire Council and Argyll and Bute Council, to effectively manage resources and maintain a visible presence in critical areas.

Local area commander chief inspector Kirsten McLatchie, speaking at the launch at Moss O'Balloch Park, said: "Our primary goal with this initiative is to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone visiting Balloch and Balloch Park.

"Through collaboration with our partners we aim to ensure that all visitors can enjoy the area responsibly and safely without incident.

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"We encourage everyone to respect the space and each other to help us maintain a pleasant atmosphere for all.

"Where instances of anti-social behaviour or criminal activity do occur, I would ask that this is reported to us so it can be dealt with appropriately."

The initiative will run until September and emphasises the importance of people looking out for each other and enjoying the open spaces responsibly.

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By coordinating with partners, officers aim to deter and detect any disruptive, disorderly, or criminal behaviour.

(Image: Newsquest) Kenny Auld, Head of Visitor Services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “This partnership is very important to the National Park Authority as not only does it help to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour that effect people who live and work within the National Park it also improves the experience for visitors who are an important part to the sustainability of the rural economy.

“Working in partnership based on shared intelligence allows all partners working in Operation Ballaton to direct staff resources to where they are most needed.

“This partnership has improved visitor management within Balloch and West loch Lomond and further into the National Park and we are committed to supporting it.”

(Image: Newsquest) Martin Rooney, Leader of the council, and chair of Community Planning West Dunbartonshire, added: “Balloch Castle Country Park is a beautiful park with stunning views over Loch Lomond and we are proud to have this in the heart of West Dunbartonshire.

"Unfortunately, we have seen unacceptable anti-social behaviour from a small minority which is very disappointing.

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"The council is working with our community partners to ensure the park remain an pleasant open space for residents and visitors to enjoy.”