A new dedicated community police officer is making a big impact in a village - just three months after walking the beat for the first time.
PC Kris Smith arrived in Lennoxtown in April to take on a role funded jointly by East Dunbartonshire Council and Police Scotland.
It’s part of the council’s ‘Place’ approach, which looks at prioritising and providing public services that respond to the specific needs and ambitions of a local community at a local level.
This approach involves the Community Planning Partnership talking directly to the community to identify issues particular to the area.
Following a series of consultations with community group representatives, parents, Campsie Community Council, young people and youth workers it was highlighted that anti-social behaviour and unsafe driving and parking in and around Main Street were local concerns.
PC Smith said: “It’s great to be working in Lennoxtown and I’m delighted with the warm welcome I have received from the community. I am more than happy for people to come to talk to me when they see me in the street or give me a call at any time on 0141 532 4455 and if I’m not at my desk then I will always get back to them.
“Speeding drivers seem to be a real concern for residents and I am currently helping to promote better driver behaviour in the Lennoxtown area and hope to involve local school children in initiatives going forward.
“I’ve been working closely with the community wardens and the Forestry Commission with regards to complaints being made about dog fouling in Lennox Forest and I’ll also be running joint patrols with our off road bike unit to tackle the issues of locals using dirt and quad bikes during the summer months.”
PC Smith has been joined by the council’s community wardens on regular joint patrols covering the hotspot areas and they hold fortnightly surgeries in Campsie Memorial Hall on Wednesday mornings, where people can discuss issues and concerns.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The council and its community planning partners are working hand-in-hand with the Lennoxtown community and they were very supportive of the idea to create a dedicated police officer. The vast majority of PC Smith’s time is spent out and about in the community engaging and building positive relationships with residents, who are reassured to see a friendly face and visible police presence in the village.”