- An update on the proposed consultation on residents’ parking that will be launched on mid-October.
- Details of the Dundee West District Plan by Tayside Fire and Rescue.
- Tayside Police’s tactical assessment for the West End.
- Useful discussions on recycling, derelict buildings, parking on Magdalen Green, bus services and other local matters.
|Dundee Remploy factory|
Last night, I attended the April meeting of West End Community Council at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.
Following on from my meeting in February with John Logue, Tayside Area Procurator Fiscal, and Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson of Tayside Police, at which we discussed tackling vandalism, John and Gavin spoke last night to the Community Council on this issue, the work of the Procurator Fiscal and co-operation between the fiscal service and the police.
It was a very useful presentation, followed by a lively question and answer session. The community council also discussed a number of other local matters including parking, the impending opening of Riverside Nature Park and tenement factoring.
As reported in today’s “Courier“, I have expressed my concerns and those of West End constituents about the weekend fight near Sinderins in which around 30 people were involved and which left a 51-year-old man needing hospital treatment for a head wound.
This is a matter of concern to residents, particularly as it took place in an area where such behaviour is extremely unusual.
I have been in touch with Tayside Police regarding the matter.
Last night’s Evening Telegraph reported on a number of recent break-ins in Marchfield Road, Pitfour Street, Rosefield Street and Peddie Street, together with my comments expressing concern about this.
Intrusion into people’s homes causes great upset and anxiety to householders, in addition to the theft of personal possessions.
I have no doubt that Tayside Police will be putting in significant resources to apprehending those responsible and the co-operation of any members of the public with information is vital.
As featured on tonight’s STV News and on local radio, North East Scotland MSP Alison McInnes, together with myself and Dundee Liberal Democrat colleagues, today launched a petition outside Tayside Police’s Headquarters that invites the public to support the campaign to stop Scotland’s emergency services being centralised into Scotland-wide force.
Alison then visited the Broughty Ferry and West End shopping areas to meet local people and explain why she and the Liberal Democrats oppose the abolition of Tayside Police and Tayside Fire and Rescue and believe that centralised police and fire services would be to the detriment of areas of Scotland outside Strathclyde & the central belt.
Alison said, “The SNP Scottish Government is aggressively pursuing the creation of a single nationwide police force and a one-size fits all approach to policing. It is clear that this proposal is being driven by personal preference rather than facts.
“However the Justice Minister has failed to give any details of where the £200 million savings that he purports will be made is to be found. In reality, it will be hugely expensive, increase political interference and could reduce the number of officers on the beat. Indeed there are fears that the proposals could result in the loss of up to 4,000 officers across Scotland.”
Allan Petrie, former Dundee Councillor and now Convener of Dundee Liberal Democrats, added, “The Scottish Government has failed to account for the costs of implementing a merger. This could amount to millions of pounds and was the reason similar plans were previously scrapped both here and in England and Wales.
“Tayside is already one of the most efficient police forces in the country. It would be extremely foolish to see an efficient force like Tayside become part of a Scotland wide force, to the detriment of the people of Dundee, Angus and Perthshire.”
Allan added that a merged Fire Service could result in re-opening the debate over the future of the Balmossie Fire Station. He said it was very clear that the people in Barnhill, Monifieth and across Broughty Ferry who are served by Balmossie do not want to see the fire station downgraded and he was concerned that, in a single Scotland-wide fire service, local voices would be drowned out.
Alison Burns, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee City West, said, “Inevitably, with a single force run from either Edinburgh or Glasgow, bureaucrats would be given far too much say over local policing without full awareness of local circumstances and issues.
“This policy poses the greatest challenge to our local police service for a generation and would be disastrous for Dundee and Tayside.”
From my own perspective, it is clear, speaking to constituents in the West End today that they are very concerned by these Fire Service and Policing centralisation proposals. People in Dundee value local Police and Fire services and centralising the services into a national service is something they view with concern.
THE PETITION READS :
“We are concerned that a one-size-fits-all approach to our emergency services will leave our area worse off. We are concerned that it will lead to a loss of local accountability, increase political interference and reduce the numbers of officers on the beat and firefighters in our local fire stations.
Help Alison and the local Scottish Liberal Democrats oppose the proposed centralisation of the Police and our Fire and Rescue Services by signing our petition and returning it to: Alison McInnes, Dundee Liberal Democrats, Freepost SCO3668, Dundee, DD4 7ZR.
“I/We the undersigned oppose any moves toward a single nationwide Police Force or Fire and Rescue Service”.
Some photos from today :
Above: From Left – Me, Alison McInnes, Alison Burns and Allan Petrie
Above : Alison McInnes in the West End
Above : From left – Alison McInnes, Alison Burns and I take the petition to Blackness Fire Station
As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, both I and my ward colleague Richard McCready have condemned the shocking assault last Sunday on a 23 year old man who was hit by a vehicle at the junction of Shaftesbury Road and Seymour Street.
He was unhurt in the initial collision but then suffered a broken nose and two black eyes following the driver of the vehicle assaulting him after the collision.
This area of the West End is a very pleasant part of Dundee and this sort of dreadful assault is highly unusual. As I indicated in the Tele tonight, whilst this may be an isolated incident, I am absolutely sure Tayside Police is making every effort to apprehend the individual responsible.
This morning, I attended the funeral of Jessie Gault, a much respected long standing resident of Abbotsford Street and committee member of Blackness Area Residents’ Association. Jessie was a really lovely lady and will be sadly missed.
This afternoon, I met with John Logue, Area Procurator Fiscal for Tayside, and Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson from Tayside Police about vandalism issues. It was a very productive meeting and it is good to hear about the effective co-operation between the police and the procurator fiscal’s office on crimes of concern to local residents.
As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, I have expressed concern about the events in Lochee Park last Friday night in which up to a hundred young people were involved in anti-social behaviour in the park, causing disturbance to neighbouring residents.
It is very concerning that a number of the young people involved were as young as 12-13, and there was a considerable amount of alcohol involved – Tayside Police confiscated 40 litres of alcohol.
I have been in correspondence with our local police inspector about the situation and am pleased at the proactivity of our local police officers with regard to this situation.
I was interviewed yesterday on the Wave 102 news about my concerns regarding the SNP government’s proposals for a single police force in Scotland :
I have today expressed considerable concern over Scottish Government moves towards merging Scotland’s eight police forces into one single force for the whole of Scotland, pointing out that this could lead to a diminution of local policing, centralisation focussing on the central belt and a loss of local police officers.
I am very concerned at the SNP Scottish Government’s apparent support for such a move – there must be concerns that a single force would be dominated by Strathclyde and the central belt, to the detriment of the rest of Scotland. One size does not fit all when it comes to policing and local policing here in Dundee really does matter.
I am dubious that a national police force would save up to the £200 million a year the government claims – without the loss of hundreds if not thousands of police officers. Another consideration is the loss of local accountability if the current Police Joint Boards were abolished and replaced with a centralised arrangement – with just one Chief Constable and the Justice Secretary.
We need to continue to have good local policing with local democratic accountability. These centralising proposals, sweeping away local forces and boards, are not in the interests of local policing. The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose the loss of Scotland’s local police forces.
Tonight’s Evening Telegraph covers the concerns about violent crime in the Tayside Police Beat 26 area – this includes parts of the West End Ward and extends down to ‘night-time economy’ areas adjacent to the City Centre.
Any extent of violent crime in the area is of great concern and I am reassured that our local police officers put in very significant effort into the prevention and detection of this sort of crime. It is extremely important that residents live in a safe environment and are given reassurance that the police act swiftly and effectively to tackle each and every instance of criminal activity.
” … this large beat starts at the railway station and stretches to Balgay Hill. I have just done a very quick look during the last 2 months and there have been assaults, but nearly all have been in the ‘spine’ of the Marketgait.
The C26 beat covers places like the new Gala Casino, West Port and public houses in South Tay Street, which are still part of the city centre and have a large night time economy, due to being popular places to visit. Alcohol normally is a contributing factor in assaults in these areas. Officers are deployed at peak times at weekends through Operation Centresafe as part of our normal business.”
On my request about use of the additional resources of the Community Engagement Team that will supplement existing local police resources, I am assured that this has been passed onto the team, which is to be welcomed.
It is reassuring that Tayside Police is putting resources into this issue and that this is showing results through improved detection rates.