I WOULD like to start this week by thanking our communities for making this year's festive period one of the quietest for many years.

Don’t get me wrong, our officers and staff were still exceptionally busy, however violent crime was significantly lower than last years and that was very much welcomed.

CI Debbie Reilly and her team had carried out a huge amount of proactive engagement with licensees across Inverclyde requesting their assistance to reduce anti-social behaviour and violence.

This included personal discussions with licensees and employees, increased visits to their premises as well as increased high visibility patrols over the festive period.

I also wish to personally thank our officers and staff who worked over the festive period, delivering a community focussed service, one that undoubtedly contributed to the reduction in violent crime.

I was out over Hogmanay myself and was struck by the professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication of our people - I am extremely proud of what they achieved and thank them all.

On a slightly negative tone, I am disappointed that we have seen an increase in anti-social behaviour in the Gourock area, mainly attributed to a small amount of youths.

CI Reilly is already tackling this emerging issue but I appeal to readers to help us by knowing where your children are and 'what they are up to' when they are out and about.

We want our young people to be outside enjoying themselves, but this cannot spill over to causing annoyance to others.

We have stepped up patrols in the area to quickly challenge this behaviour which has included damaging two police cars, depriving the public of the vehicles while they are being repaired.

Over the past few weeks there has been a number of fires, like the one pictured here in Greenock's Jamaica Street, and I would like to reassure readers that we are working alongside the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and other partners to tackle this and will update readers in due course.

If you have any information regarding the incidents in Gourock, or fires, then please call us on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 in confidence.