As lockdown restrictions remain due to the current pandemic, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the vast majority of Inverclyde residents who have adhered to the government guidance, I am very grateful for the incredible level of understanding, patience and support from the public. I previously highlighted that we took enforcement action against people who consistently flouted the law and I make no excuse for continuing to do so when necessary but I’m pleased that the majority of people take heed of the advice.

We have focused patrols in our communities, reacting to emerging seasonal crime trends and taken heed of your concerns. An outcome of lockdown we have noticed and I’m sure you will agree is quieter roads. Although there has been a clear reduction of motor vehicles on the roads, there has been an increase in pedestrians and cyclists. Whilst the roads may seem quieter, drivers need to remain vigilant and not be lulled into a false sense of security. Community Officers and Road Policing Officers have been monitoring driver behaviour at a number of locations throughout Inverclyde in an effort to maintain the safety of all road users safe and although there have been a few tickets issued the majority of road users have been behaving responsibly. Please take heed that we will continue monitoring driver behaviour in the weeks to come.

I was saddened yet again on hearing that a number of elderly residents have had their homes targeted by a sneak in thief. I am pleased to report though, that through extensive enquiries being carried out in Inverclyde and Renfrewshire a male suspect was identified for these crimes and several similar crimes in Renfrewshire. He was traced, arrested and remanded in prison until trial. We all have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities so can I ask that you please remind friends, relatives or neighbours to lock their doors.

I mentioned seasonal crimes earlier, as we move towards summer especially if the recent good weather is anything to go by, we must all take simple precautions to protect our property. By this I mean locking garden sheds, motor vehicles and again houses and not allowing an opportunist thief an easy steal. I am delighted to say that officers and community wardens have been very proactive within your communities recently in response to these types of incidents. One male was arrested after a number of garden sheds were broken into in Greenock, another male was arrested at the weekend and remanded in custody on Monday for break-ins to commercial premises in Greenock’s east end. Following an extensive investigation by the Community Policing Team into thefts from motor vehicles in Gourock and Greenock, a man was quickly identified and arrested for linked crimes. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment on Monday. Furthermore, proactive policing by response officers in Larkfield led to a male being arrested for possession of a knife and he too was remanded in custody on Monday.

I feel I must make mention again of the responsible behaviour of the majority of our young people in Inverclyde in response to the government guidance. We are not receiving the same volume reports of marauding youths during these lighter nights and I can only thank those that engaged in this type of behaviour before the pandemic and their parents for acting responsibly. Your social distancing will undoubtable have saved lives, perhaps even of people close to you. I’ve said it before but perhaps it is a strong indication that we, as a community, are working together to keep each other safe.

On a happier note I was very touched to see that someone had very kindly crocheted a message of thanks to the local officers with a rainbow and attached it to the gate of the police office. Thank you very much whoever you are, your kindness means a lot to us and your efforts lifted our spirits within the office.