Ayrshire Post

Butt out of our airport, Patrick Harvie told

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Burglaries have soared in South Ayrshire by nearly a third over recent months - with roaming criminals sneaking into homes.

And four gangs of organised criminals are operating within Ayrshire.

There were 107 housebreak­ings between April 1 and July 31 - up 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.

South Ayrshire police Chief Inspector Brian Anderson has warned home owners to keep their windows shut after a number of thieves secured entry through them.

The area commander said travelling criminals had targeted homes in certain areas.

He said: “Windows were left open during the summer period. It was a common approach for some of the housebreak­ings.”

Speaking at the South Ayrshire Council Partnershi­ps Panel he told councillor­s the police force was running an action plan to tackle the problem.

A crime report said: “Although housebreak­ing is below the five year average, there has been a clear rise in such crimes this year compared to the There has been a 23 per cent rise in domestic abuse cases - with 243 crimes Brian Whittle MSP has hit out at some of his fellow MSPs for trying to drag Prestwick Airport into the middle of a congressio­nal investigat­ion in the United States.

The airport, which is has been put up for sale by the Scottish Government, came in for criticism after figures emerged showing that since President Trump came to office, more members of the US Armed Forces were staying at Trump Turnberry during flight stopovers at Prestwick Airport.

More dealers have been caught in recent months in South Ayrshire as police ramp up efforts.

Ayrshire Chief Superinten­dent Mark Hargreaves urged people to report suspicions and provide evidence to obtain search warrants.

While presenting a crime report to councillor­s on Thursday, he said there are four serious and organised crime groups in Ayrshire - and some have links down south.

During a questions session in Holyrood, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said Prestwick Airport should end its links with the US military to avoid the risk of Scotland’s reputation being damaged, saying “We should not stand by as Scotland’s good name is tarnished by associatio­n with the toxic Trump brand”.

Mr Whittle said: “It’s absurd for Patrick Harvie to stand up in parliament and imply that Prestwick Airport is somehow guilty by associatio­n because he has a personal and political dislike for Donald Trump.

“Right now, the only person tarnishing Scotland’s reputation in this matter is Patrick Harvie.

“There has been no suggestion of wrongdoing by Prestwick Airport and to simplistic­ally declare that anything associated with the Trump name is toxic is essentiall­y condemning Turnberry without a thought for the significan­t local employment and economic contributi­on it makes.

“Prestwick Airport is a huge asset to Ayrshire and to Scotland.

“We should be taking every opportunit­y to promote it and attract more customers to it, not use it as a pawn in a cheap political stunt.”

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