COMMUNITY police officers are out and about in a bid to establish the public’s top priorities.
The Strathclyde police public consultation is running for the next few months, and southsiders are invited to have their say, either by chatting to a community officer or by filling out an online questionnaire.
Communities inspector Eileen Taylor, responsible for the southside central and Pollokshields wards, told The Extra: “The consultation process informs community policing, and we work towards it on a yearly basis.
“We have survey questionnaires and go out into the community to ask people on the street, in the supermarket and at schools — the point is to provide a representative view of the area.
“The more we get, the better informed we are”.
Previous consultations have identified ongoing issues in both areas, each singling out drug misuse and assault and violent crime.
In Pollokshields, residents are also concerned about speeding vehicles, as well as instances of theft and housebreakings.
The southside central ward, meanwhile, has repeatedly marked drunk and disorderly behaviour as an area for target.
Inspector Taylor added: “Sometimes the issues we think are most important aren’t the same as the community’s priorities — so we use this information, along with crime statistics, to inform what we focus on for the year ahead.
“My team then have to address these issues in relation to reducing the crime stats”.
Officers are now out on the beat with questionnaires, including police constable Ashley Torrance, who also attends community council meetings and addresses problems there.
She commented: “There, people can ask us anything they want and it’s very informal — and hopefully they’re spreading the word that we are out on the street.
“The public haven’t always heard the end result of police work in the past, so we try to make sure we’re in close contact, face-to-face and through new kinds of media like Facebook and Twitter”.
Community police in East Renfrewshire have also taken to social media sites recently to maintain contact with the public, and officers will be out in force for a community consultation in the area too.
Inspector Campbell Crawford, of Giffnock police station, told The Extra: “Our community policing teams are out and consulting people in all six wards between now and October.
“The common issues we see from these consultations are anti-social behaviour, road safety issues and theft crimes.
“It’s important to hear what the priorities are for members of the public, so that we can tailor policing needs accordingly”.
Anyone interested in completing the survey online can find it — and more on each community team — at www.strathclyde.police.uk/your_community.