THIS month’s press briefing with Burgh Inspector Ally Robertson of Tayside Police focuses on concerted efforts to raise the profile of community policing in Forfar.
Links with various resident groups, businesses and organisations have been developed which are tackling anti-social issues head on in the short, medium and long term.
Furthermore, the police are not only being seen to be attending, but are acting on public complaints and are getting those causing a disturbance off the street and in to jail.
Increased foot patrols in the Glens area of Forfar, as well as the use of the mobile CCTV camera, are paying dividends
One area which is being explored is holding a “surgery in a surgery”, with talks on-going with the Academy Street Medical Centre where it is hoped community liaison officer Constable Scott Anderson will meet members of the public in an informal setting to find out what concerns local residents have and what areas need attention. The police are also looking to link up with ASDA’s community team to get out and about in the Glens and Viewmount areas, an initiative Inspector Robertson is keen to develop.
He said: “The key thing is getting involved with key individuals and agencies in the private sector to work with the community policing. The major part of that work, obviously, is the community themselves. We have the Glens Action Group and the Viewmount Voices. They have brought to our attention a number of issues.
“In the short term we are looking to get more police officers up there in the last eight to 10 weeks and we are getting really good, positive, feedback from the Glens residents.
“They are wanting us to be more robust with regards to any anti-social behaviour and this week we have shown that when there have been anti-social behaviour in the street. There have been no warnings, they were arrested and reported and given the jail.”
Whilst that is in the short term, the long term strategy for the police is working with the council, the housing department and community learning and development to build a “community capacity” which gets community members to believe they can actually influence what happens in the area.
Inspector Robertson concluded: “Constable Anderson has been working closely with the communities in Viewmount and the Glens, as have the council, in an attempt to raise the profile of the area and to give residents a bit of pride in their neighbourhood.
“We are also looking at medium and long term issues. ASDA are very keen to assist the community with a litter pick. It’s the “broken window” scenario. If you let it stay, the problem multiplies. If we can stop the broken window, as in the litter, people take pride and they maintain that level of pride.”