Police hit squad in 24-hour patrols bid

A DEDICATED police hit squad will carry out random 24-hour patrols as an annual crime crackdown gets tougher.

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Police officers mark the start of the Maryhill 'Safer Streets' initiative in 2012   Picture: Kirsty Anderson
Police officers mark the start of the Maryhill 'Safer Streets' initiative in 2012 Picture: Kirsty Anderson

Maryhill Housing Association is to renew its link-up with Police Scotland to target nuisance neighbours, violent crime and drug dealers.

Officers will carry out ­patrols at "undisclosed times", working with housing chiefs to identify known trouble spots.

Weekends will also be ­targeted in a bid to drive down alcohol-fuelled crime, under-age drinking and vandalism.

During the original Safer Streets campaign, launched in 2012, police figures showed a 64% drop in the number of serious assault with calls from tenants in the Glenavon multi-storey flats falling by 50%.

The scheme was also ­voted a winner with residents with 90% reporting it had made a "positive" effect on where they lived and 96% had noticed a greater police presence in their area.

As part of the new campaign, which will run until at least the end of the year, housing officers and police will once more, carry out joint visits to nuisance residents.

Officers will also work with licensed premises to tackle the illegal sale and supply of alcohol.

Jennifer Simon, housing services manager at the ­Association, said: "Our ­tenants and local residents in general want the local community to be as safe as possible.

"And we've shown with previous Safer Streets initiatives that a close working relationship with Police Scotland locally does bring results.

"Our intention with the latest Safer Streets project is to deal with incidents of crime and disorder that come to our attention, by relaying this information to police and dealing with it quickly. We know that this is something our tenants want us to tackle.

"We know that weekends are a particular concern when it comes to anti social behaviour and crime and that's why some resources are being particularly ­focused on these times."

Chief Inspector Joe ­McKerns, who is leading the project, said: "The officers based at Maryhill are determined to ensure that not only are our communities safe but that they feel safe."

"We will not only be ­patrolling during the day and nights but also sharing information and looking to identify other partners and specialist units who can assist."

caroline.wilson@eveningtimes.co.uk

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