By Lucy Ashton
Over the past few days, Police Scotland have seen large groups of young persons enjoying the weather in areas such as Balloch Park and Luss.
The vast majority of those visiting are warmly welcomed as they show respect and consideration to our local community and tourist locations.
Unfortunately, we have also had a number of individuals who clearly have fewer social standards than our community expects or deserves.
Tidy up when you leave your favourite picnic spot and it’ll look as good as when you left it when you come back. If you don’t tidy up then you won’t be welcome to come back.
However, not everyone is happy with the way police are handling these problems, implementing a special operation for this specific purpose.
Operation Ballaton, is a multi-agency partnership approach which pulls together a host or resources to provide a coordinated response from Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue, British Transport Police, West Dunbartonshire Council, Argyll & Bute Council, National Park and Scotrail within popular tourist locations in and around Loch Lomond and its surrounding communities.
We have been planning our response and will continue to have a presence in our parks and communities over the summer months.
Our focus is to reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour, alcohol consumption and promote water safety by providing a robust, proportionate and effective response.
Working with our partners helps maximise our capabilities to ensure that our world famous tourist spots remain safe places to visit and enjoy.
However, Darren Kusz asked this question on a social media site:
So a few pals camping out at the shore having a wee shandy and a fire going with tunes on at half volume is the sort of things your getting paid to enforce? Surely your services and resources could be put to better use?
Anti-social behaviour should be dealt with you speaking to the people and asking them to calm it down. But you can’t just be on the side of the old pensioner, moaning faced locals all the time and bend over backwards to appease them.
The Loch belongs to everyone, not just the locals. People can camp out, have a drink and not be anti-social.
Not everyone leaves litter and acts in an anti-social manner. You’re Crown servants remember, not private security guards for the locals that live next to the A82.
What exactly does a “robust, proportionate and effective response” mean?
Sounds like your going to be acting out-with your oath and policing in a manner to please the locals who have been giving you grief as they want a quiet life.
I feel like a trip up to Luss next weekend. I’ll bring my copy of PACE along with my fire wood, Bluetooth speaker and BBQ to cook you officers some lunch.
* In a democracy such as we have here in West Dunbartonshire – or would have if only the Council played by the rules – there should be freedom of speech. WE may not like what this person has to say but we should be defending their right to say it, particularly if it is criticism of a public body. Editor
Semper Vigilo – Always Watchful – police officers keeping the peace on Loch Lomondside.