‘VILLAGE bobbies’ are being brought back to the streets of Inverclyde, the police said today.

Officers will be dedicated to a locality, patrolling on foot or cycle, and others will specialise in tackling housebreaking.

Chief Superintendent Jim Downie, local commander for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, says the force is committed to providing a service that meets the needs of the communities it serves.

Ch Supt Downie said: “Every community in Inverclyde will have a dedicated police officer responsible for dealing with issues that are a priority for local residents.

“This will return officers to traditional beat duties by aligning them and their working day to localities, providing continuity and a familiar face that people can relate to in the mould of the traditional ‘village bobby.’

“This is not just a nostalgic idea of policing from a bygone era.

“They are central to a prevention-based model which has community intelligence, local knowledge, community engagement and partnership working as the key to success.

“This, coupled with the national assets at the disposal of Police Scotland which these local officers will tap into, will enhance the service provided to the public.

“These officers will be responsible for meeting the needs of their communities by providing effective and long term solutions to local issues by working closely with residents, and in partnership with other agencies such as community wardens or adult services.”

Mr Downie said the operational changes are a direct response to feedback received from members of the public through local engagement and from the Police Scotland ‘Your View Counts’ survey, as well as comments from officers working across the area.

He said: “These changes are based on what communities have told us they want – an identifiable officer who can act as a single point of contact, who is visible, available and accessible in the community and who is capable of solving community problems.

“The priority for the officers will be to get to know their communities by going into schools, shops, licensed premises and community groups, and introducing themselves and ensuring the public know how to get in touch with them.

“The new policing model will see officers aligned to dedicated local communities, working a shift pattern which will increase their visibility to the public.

“These new teams will be overseen by a community policing inspector and a dedicated sergeant who will support the officers to deal with persistent offenders, repeat victims, vulnerable locations and support partnership working.

“I’d like to encourage members of the public to speak to their local community officers and discuss any local concerns.

“Feedback can also be provided via the ‘Your View Counts’ online survey accessible via the Police Scotland website.”