GETTING tough with drunken yobs who urinate in Glasgow streets has seen violent crime plummet by almost 70%, police chiefs today claimed.

The Evening Times can reveal that more than 11,000 people have been caught urinating in public in the last five years.

The number - mostly made up of drunks who urinated on their way to and from the city centre - has rocketed by 175% since 2008.

Senior officers said the figures prove that the tactic of hammering "minor offending" is keeping people in Glasgow safe. Figures for the offence, usually punished by a £60 fixed penalty notice, show 2868 were caught urinating in the street last year, as a clampdown by police continues.

This increased almost three-fold from 1046 in 2008.

Extra police patrols have been stepped up in anti-social behaviour hotspots across the city centre.

Officers said Sauchiehall Street, at Charing Cross, and Gordon Street, Renfield Street and Queen Street are among the busiest areas for public urination offences.

By targeting public drinking and urination, and other "low-level" crimes, police are helping to drive down more serious violent offending in the city.

Violent crime in the city centre has fallen by 68% since 2008. Five years ago, there were 225 serious assaults, against 73 last year.

Incidents of other violent crime, including robberies and common assaults, are also falling.

Police believe they are getting the tactic right - and the figures prove that.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, said: "Our aim is to robustly deal with offenders, many of whom are drunk, before this anti-social behaviour escalates into serious violence.

"By targeting people who illegally drink alcohol or urinate in the street, we can help to prevent more serious and violent offending taking place.

"Often people who urinate in the street are drunk, making them more vulnerable to becoming the victim of a serious assault or robbery."

Police believe that if someone is arrested for urinating they are unlikely to be caught up in a fight hours later.

Almost 1550 people were caught with open cans or bottles in the city centre in 2008, when Sir Stephen House became Chief Constable of the then Strathclyde Police. This figures soared by 136% to 3652 last year - making the offence the most common in the city.