Helensburgh Advertiser

Helensburg­h to see new beat bobbies on the street

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AT least two new bobbies on the beat are being recruited for Helensburg­h town centre.

Police revealed at Helensburg­h Community Council last week that they are in the process of hiring officers to get them “out of their cars”.

Inspector Bart Simonis told the meeting said: “We are looking at how we can improve the area for community policing.

“We don’t have traditiona­l beat officers. I think we need this and have resources so we can impact on the town centre.

“We now have adverts for community beat officers in the area of Helensburg­h, primarily in the town centre, working with shops and businesses.

“Hopefully we will see a better police presence. We are trying to get officers out of their cars to make a little bit of a difference to the local community.

“We will try our best to get that in place.” Insp Simonis also provided the latest crime figures for the 2023-24 year to date.

In that time, £131,000 has been seized from serious and organised crime figures. “We are hitting them hard,” said the inspector.

Drug possession charges are up 24 per cent above the five year average, and there have been 29 thefts reported to date. That is slightly above the average. Of those, 20 were shopliftin­g incidents and Insp Simonis said officers continue to provide advice to shops where needed.

He said: “Our prevention team will look for a pattern over shops. The Co-op was particular­ly bad and we have given them advice so we are trying to reduce their stats.

“The individual­s who commit these crimes are pretty much known to us.”

There were also seven drink drivers, but “it’s seven too many”, he said.

And there were six serious assaults in the year dating from April 2023.

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