A CALL has been made for security to be stepped up at Gourock Pavilion to stop gangs hanging around, breaking in and vandalising the building.

Alan Holliday, chair of Gourock Community Council, is urging the council to give residents peace of mind and safeguard the iconic building for the future.

Community wardens say there have been around 10 incidents over the last four weeks alone and as many as 25 young people congregating at the one time.

As well as a break-in, youths have sprayed graffiti on the building, used it as a drinking den and caused misery for residents by blasting out loud music.

During one of the incidents a bike was damaged and a fire extinguisher was dumped on one of the football pitches.

Mr Holliday said: "Money needs to be spent on the security of the building to stop all this vandalism and trespassing.

"When it was broken into the showers were damaged, which are costly to repair."

He says residents especially living in George Road and Mathie Crescent are worried about teenagers hanging around.

Mr Holliday said: "It's a public nuisance.

"There are a lot of elderly people living in this area and they don't want groups of youths hanging about at night drinking.

Wardens say groups of between 10 and 25, sometimes all boys, some mixed male and female, have been gathering at the pavilion.

Mr Holliday said: "The council needs to update security and the fencing around the pavilion.

"None of the windows have bars and money needs to be spent upgrading it.

"It's a bit of a Gourock landmark.

"The council needs to secure it to stop anti-social nuisance and protect it for the future.

"The facility is still used a lot in the summer.

Independent Gourock councillor Lynne Quinn says she is also concerned after receiving complaints from residents.

She told the Telegraph: "I have been made aware of incidents of anti-social behaviour at the pavilion on George Road and the community wardens and police will be giving this additional attention over the coming weeks.

"I have requested that the gates to the park are locked in the evening to make it less accessible."

Councillor Quinn is urging people to report any incidents to the community wardens and local authority bosses says they are doing all they can to address the problem.

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council said: “The community wardens carry out active patrols and check the Gourock Pavilion daily.

"We recognise that there have been issues at the pavilion and we are working hard to address them.

"The wardens regularly move on large groups of young people from the pavilion and we would urge anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour in the area to report it to the Community Wardens free on 0800 013 1701.”

Mr Holliday says anyone with concerns about the pavilion, or other matters, should come along to Gourock Community Council's meetings, which are held on the third Monday of the month in the Gamble Halls from 7pm.