THE convener of Garelochhead Community Council says he welcomes the presence of Ministry of Defence Police officers in the area to help tackle local crime.

Watson Robinson spoke to the Advertiser this week following the recent controversy over MDP officers allegedly taking on a greater community role.

Police Scotland has refuted claims that the MDP was being used to plug gaps left by the civilian service.

Mr Robinson said: “I, like many others, appreciate greatly the job Police Scotland do in our community.

“The issues they have to deal with in their day-to-day jobs must be hard enough, without the added burden of cutbacks.

“It must be really frustrating every year watching their thin blue line get stripped further back.

“However we are lucky in this area that we also have the MDP to help when and if they are required to ease the burden.

“The MDP are an extremely well organised force, and I have little doubt that their rural patrols have deterred many an individual or individuals with criminality on their mind.

“Therefore I feel it makes perfect sense for our authorities to investigate if or how they could take a greater advantage of this resource.”