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A national intervention programme is being implemented in Renfrewshire to help build safer communities through close partnership working between key services and local communities.

A multi-agency group led by Police Scotland and supported by Renfrewshire Council, Engage Renfrewshire, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, works closely with communities to carry out targeted interventions in areas in need of additional support.

Communities are consulted on what they consider to be the priorities to improve their area and all local partners work together to make a positive difference, with Erskine the latest community to benefit from the programme following successful interventions in Ferguslie and Gallowhill.

Erskine residents identified underage drinking, littering, anti-social behaviour and a lack of police presence as the key issues in their area in need of attention.

Police officers, Renfrewshire Wardens and the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership Youth Team carried out joint patrols after school and in evenings to provide reassurance and address youth-related anti-social behaviour, with over 100 young people spoken to with the aim of discouraging any offences.

Underage drinking has also been targeted with large quantities of alcohol seized from youths with Police Scotland and the Youth Team carrying out follow up visits with parents to discuss the behaviour of their children.

The successful youth diversionary project Street Stuff was also deployed into the local area to divert young people from anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We want our local communities to be safe, welcoming places for our residents which is why we are asking them to identify the issues which matter to them.

“Once the key issues are identified, we’re working alongside our partners to take action and make real improvements to the lives of people in the local community. The approach is showing fantastic results so far with significant reductions in anti-social behaviour and it is encouraging to see such a positive outcome in tackling the priorities of local people.”

The intervention in Erskine has shown positive results with incidents of littering down from 19 to two, vandalism offences reducing by more than half and disorder offences dropping by 24% in relation to the corresponding period last year.

There was a 50% increase in the number of arrests for drug offences, which could be explained by the increased police presence in the area during the intervention period.

Superintendent Simon Wright, Police Scotland Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Division, said: “Working closely with communities can bring real results in tackling the issues that matter to them most.

“By working together and being able to respond to the matters of concern, we can see a clear positive impact in the area and I’d like to thank all those who took the time to support the work we’ve been doing.

“Our local policing team will continue their work in the area to support residents in maintaining these positive results.”

The Erskine Community Safety Partnership will continue to meet and be chaired by Police Scotland, which will ensure ongoing support from all partners and maintain the positive outcomes.