MEMBERS of a close-knit community near Helensburgh have voiced anger over disruptive neighbours who are threatening the safety of children in the area.

Residents of Garelochhead contacted the Advertiser last week to express their concern at the lack of action taken to deal with anti-social behaviour in the area.

The locals, who wish to remain anonymous, said there have been ongoing issues with two men they say are using drugs in public, trying to enter homes and vehicles without consent, shouting and fighting in the street and acting inappropriately in front of children.

One resident told us: “Last week, one of them was openly taking drugs on the main steps, which everyone in our end uses, in front of children who were out playing at the time.

“These children had to walk past this man in the street and see him so severely under the influence that he couldn’t hold himself up and later had to be walked to his house by police.

“They shouldn’t have to witness this in such a small community.”

One of the men reported to be involved is believed to be renting a property on Upland Road and is well known in the area.

Another resident said: “I’ve been in touch with Argyll Community Housing Association [ACHA] but I was basically told there isn’t much they can do because it’s just ‘the society we live in’.

“This is not the case in Garelochhead. There is very little bad behaviour going on in our village – it is quiet and friendly.

“This has caused quite a stir as we don’t want this going on in streets where our kids are out playing or walking to school.

“They are a danger. There is a fear now of your property or belongings being stolen or damaged and people are taking more precautions to protect themselves and their things, which they have worked hard for.”

ACHA confirmed they are currently investigating complaints from two Garelochhead residents.

Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of the housing association, said: “Thus far we are not aware of any convictions about drug taking or, indeed, any other anti-social behaviour.

“ACHA takes any issues of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour very seriously and will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action should there be any evidence of a breach of tenancy condition by any tenant.

“In the interim, I would strongly urge any residents of Garelochhead who witness any incidents to report this to the police.

“I would also ask that they keep a diary of events to record any issues as this could be used as corroborative evidence.”

Helensburgh Police Inspector Allan Kirk said local officers have attended reports of incidents and are continuing to give attention to the area.

He added: “All our small and safe communities in Argyll and Bute do have the potential for problems...and tackling this is a police priority.”