Public have say as police launch city crime crackdown blueprint

A blueprint for tougher crimebusting measures in Glasgow was revealed today.

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Cops are planning a major three-year crackdown to rid city streets of violent thugs, sex attackers, and troublemakers.

And senior officers warned serious and organised crime gangs: We're coming to get you.

The plans reflect national priorities on public protection, including initiatives on domestic violence and hate crimes.

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates believes "meticulous planning" is key to creating a safe and secure Glasgow.

He said: "We heard from more than 3000 people in Glasgow about the issues that concern them the most.

"Their answers have helped us identify problems which our policing priorities and objectives are based on targeting.

"Above all, we are an enforcement agency and we will focus on what the community wants us to.

"They know the problems that are in the local areas, so it is vital that we listen.

"Local people are at the heart of everything we do and this plan sets out the policing priorities that they have identified."

Police have vowed to reduce violent crime, including alcohol-related violence, as well as disorder and anti-social behaviour.

They will also focus on increased detection of violent offenders, including those who commit domestic abuse and hate crime.

Increasing public confidence and local engagement are key to the plan's success, according to Mr Bates.

On April 1 last year, the biggest shake up in years of the police in Scotland took place.

As well as the country's eight previous police forces being rebranded as the national Police Scotland, Glasgow's three former divisions - A, G and B - became one single division, Greater Glasgow.

Local commanders were put in charge of the local policing plans in Scotland's 373 local authority wards.

Each local plan is tailored to that specific area.

"Different areas will have different issues," Mr Bates explained.

"Greater Glasgow covers more than 215 square miles of a wide contrast of communities.

"But we will flex our resources to find local solutions for local problems.

"That's what the policing plan is all about."

Violent crime has fallen in the first year of Police Scotland - in Glasgow and across the country as a whole.

Mr Bates said: "The improvements have been phenomenal and they have been made possible by the creation of Police Scotland.

"We are creating a climate where people feel more confident in coming forward and reporting incidents to police, whether it be domestic abuse or other crime.

"People know we will take them seriously and investigate every claim thoroughly.

"Now, we have to build on that confidence and trust from the community

"Although the past year has been very rewarding for us, we must continue to build on that and continue to drive down crime.

The latest plan is the result of partnership work, between Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council, and community members.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The council works very closely with the police on a range of issues and shares their commitment to protecting the public in all Glasgow communities.

"Since the advent of Police Scotland, local authorities have taken on a new role of scrutinising and monitoring the police.

"And in Glasgow this work will be undertaken through the city's Community Planning Partnership.

"We believe this approach provides the best possible basis for ensuring that police work in the city continues to respond to the priorities of our communities."

Figures from our Crime On Your Streets investigation revealed serious violent crime has fallen dramatically across the city during the first year of Scotland's single police force.

The culprits behind nearly 65% of the most worrying incidents, including murders, attempted murders, and serious assaults, have been caught.

Violent crime in Glasgow has dropped to levels unseen since the early 1970s.

Mr Bates added: "Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe.

"We will do this by protecting the vulnerable, pursuing those who do most harm in our communities, disrupting criminals and bringing offenders to justice."

rebecca.gray@eveningtimes.co.uk

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