A PORT church has teamed up with the police and other partners to launch its own neighbourhood watch scheme.

New Parish Church established a team of volunteers to combat anti-social behaviour and people from all walks of life have worked tirelessly to make the church grounds and the surrounding area a safer space for all.

Where previously a broken wall was the perfect spot for teens to gather and consume alcohol has been rebuilt.

A massive clean up operation took place to rid the grounds of empty alcohol cans and bottles.

The neighbourhood watch scheme includes newly-installed CCTV cameras and extra patrols by community wardens.

The project has been led by community police officers Brian Arkley and Ally Burns and Inverclyde Council's Mark Ashcroft arranged for wardens Neil Smith and Mark Lynch to patrol more frequently.

Minister William Boyle says he is delighted with the community response.

Rev Boyle told the Tele: "We knew we wanted to do something to make the church and the surrounding areas a safer space, so launched this project.

"I've been really blown away by how many people have got on board, it's been such a community effort and everything we had hoped for.

"Not only have members of the church got involved but other people from the wider Port Glasgow community have been an exceptional help."

Materials for the new wall were supplied by B&Q manager Martin Higgins and Tam Sharpe of Sharpe Response donated his time to build the newly erected wall to prevent young people loitering.

The railing on the top of the wall was provided by Ian Munro from Inverweld, materials for clean-up were donated by Hardeep Singh of Port Hardware, signage was provided by Ian Hanley of Inverclyde Council and the CCTV cameras were provided by the community police tuck shop fund.

Bushes at the south side of the church were also cut back by Network Rail and flowers for the church grounds will be provided by Sharon Gemmell at Parklea Branching Out.

PC Brian Arkley added: "We got together just at the end of lockdown to make this happen and it's all fallen into place.

"Everyone has played a part to make this area better and we are grateful to everyone for their support."

An Inverclyde Council spokesperson said: “We’re delighted to support the launch of this new neighbourhood watch scheme.

“There has been support from community wardens and our safer communities team, which supplied free materials to help publicise the scheme.

“The council can support with the creation of neighbourhood watch schemes and has supporting materials which groups can apply for.

“Anyone who is interested in setting up a neighbourhood watch can email community.safety@inverclyde.gov.uk