POLICE chiefs are set to use road blocks to deter criminals in Helensburgh and Lomond, the town’s inspector has revealed.

In a report to Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, Inspector Roddy MacNeill stated that a new intelligence officer was due to start planning their use.

The inspector also revealed that officers involved in disruption of the illegal drug trade have been granted a warrant, which will be executed in due course.

The document will be considered by the committee at a meeting in the Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre on Thursday, March 21, with Inspector MacNeill due to be present.

His report said: “Road blocks will be a tactic utilised as we move into spring. These will be given an operational name and will be planned, rather than deployed on an ad-hoc basis.

“I have a new intelligence officer moving to Helensburgh on a full time basis this month [February, when report was written] and he will drive these through intelligence-led policing.

“Officers based in Helensburgh are being encouraged to take a more active role in the disruption of the illegal drug trade.

“We have already craved and been granted a warrant which will be executed in due course by Helensburgh officers, supplemented by our drug unit based at Dumbarton.

“This will allow for daily business to carry on as usual. The experience taken from such operations will benefit Police Scotland and the community. It will be publicised in the press.”

Inspector MacNeill’s report also states that incidents of vandalism in the area are on the increase, although these are being targeted by officers.

There are also other initiatives being implemented by the new inspector, who took over at Helensburgh in January.

He added: “There continues to be an increase in vandalisms, especially random damage to vehicles, again this is an area to be targeted by both uniform and plain clothes officers.

“General disorder at this time of the year is not an issue with regards to licensed premises. Disorder within the community is an issue on occasion. We will liaise with housing to identify problematic tenants and addresses.

“From the start of 2019, Police Scotland have been, and will continue to, increase pro-active patrols.

“Officers are being deployed on plain clothes duties to address acquisitive crime and anti-social behaviour offences.

“This has proved to be positive, both with the officers and with regards detections of offenders.”