By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie has called for a clear and robust increase in enforcement after it emerged that only three people have been prosecuted for offences involving a jet-ski under Loch Lomond bye-laws in the past 21 years.

The Dumbarton constituency MSP, pictured right,  recently received a response from the previous Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown MSP, after asking how many prosecutions had been brought against jet-ski owners for infringements on Loch Lomond since the National Park was established.

She had asked an identical question 18 months earlier and received the same response showing that there have been no further prosecutions in the intervening period.

This comes after Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority Board met earlier this year to discuss a review of their bye-laws following a period of consultation.

The Board approved the proposed bye-law changes which will now be sent to the Scottish Government. Residents and stakeholders have the opportunity to raise any concerns or make comment directly to Scottish Government Ministers during this current phase of consultation which lasts until June 8th.

The National Park plan to introduce a Low Speed Activity Zone, a Loch Lomond User Registration Scheme and measures which will make vessel owners responsible for offences committed by young people.

A yachtsman being buzzed by a jet-skier on Loch Lomond. Pictures by Bill Heaney

But the Dumbarton constituency MSP, who has been vocal in her opposition to jetski users who behave irresponsibly on the loch, is concerned that there will be no effect with the changes if they are not met with a significant increase in enforcement, particularly following the most recent figures showing a lack of prosecutions.

Throughout the last two years, communities around the loch have been tormented by irresponsible jetski users buzzing close to the shore and at high speeds with many witnessing near-misses involving swimmers and other loch users.

During the late May bank holiday weekend, residents in lochside communities reported an influx of jetski users and concern for others who were in the water as a result of the behaviour of some jetskiers.

Many people support an outright ban on jetskis on the loch, because the National Park have not engaged in enforcement, which is disappointing for responsible jetski users.

Ms Baillie met the Minister responsible for National Parks, Lorna Slater, pictured left,  last September along with the then Luss and Arden Community Council Convener and representatives from Luss Estates who laid bare the problems faced in lochside villages, particularly during spells of good weather.

They told how residents in Luss were completely fed up with jetskiers running amok while the enforcement boat was barely seen in the area and, if rangers arrived or police made their way to the scene, the perpetrators had already left.

Jackie Baillie said: “I welcome efforts to strengthen the law which aims to keep loch users safe and protect the environment and communities within this area and I am grateful to everyone who responded to the consultation.

“I am disappointed though that this looks like a missed opportunity to properly deal with the problems on Loch Lomond. I firmly believe that the proposals which will now be sent to the Scottish Government will not address the chaos we have seen in recent years, unless there is a significant rise in the number of rangers patrolling the loch, who have the powers to enforce the byelaws.

“To find out that nothing has changed in the last 18 months and that there have only been three prosecutions relating to jetski use in the 21 years which Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has existed is astonishing. With this level of enforcement, it is little wonder that jetskiers intent on being reckless are coming here in their droves.

Police patrol craft in action and Loch Lomond ranger boat on patrol.

“The National Park Authority say they would like to work with the Scottish Government to investigate additional powers to use Fixed Penalty Notices and I welcome that, but the real key to dealing with the problems which have been plaguing lochside communities is to have more people available to take action. This will not happen under the current plans and will continue to see lives put at risk.

“I look forward to hearing feedback from the Scottish Government on how bye-laws around the loch can be strengthened while accompanied by a significant increase in enforcement. If the Minister is not prepared to fund a significant increase in enforcement then she must consider banning jet skis.”

Top picture: A jet-skier buzzing a yacht on Loch Lomond last summer. Picture by Bill Heaney


  1. No one has ever been prosecuted in Scotland for lying on documents (S318 offence) but the police did charge my “psychiatrist”(unqualified) who needed an interpreter to speak to the police. With a lawyer paid by the NHS (taxpayer ultimately) telling him to just say no comment (in Bulgarian).

    1. Now that is absolutely shocking. If this man who was given an appointment in the NHS as a psychiatrist of all things when he could not speak English then something should be done about it. Immediately if not sooner.

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