YOBS thinking of vandalising Helensburgh’s Hermitage Park will have their every move watched on CCTV, the area’s police chief has announced.

Inspector Roddy MacNeill announced at a meeting in the town last week that a camera is to be redeployed to the park.

He then confirmed the plans in a column for the Advertiser, stating his hope that it would be a deterrent to antisocial behaviour.

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Both the council and the Friends of Hermitage Park have backed the plans, after the area was hit by a spate of graffiti and vandalism incidents during its £3.3 million refurbishment.

Inspector MacNeill said at the meeting on Thursday, September 19: “The redeployment of the CCTV camera is in progress.

“A licensed premises on James Street has closed down, so we will have the camera moved from there to Hermitage Park. That will happen soon.”

The inspector did not mention any licensed premises by name, but the Logie Baird, on James Street, closed its doors in August.

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He then said: “We are, in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, in the process of mounting a CCTV camera centrally within Hermitage Park.

“It is hoped this will act both as a deterrent to those involved in anti-social behaviour and as a means of identification for ourselves should crimes be committed.

“Again we are maximising our patrols within the park.”

Fiona Baker, chair of the Friends of Hermitage Park, said: “We welcome this trial period of CCTV in the park and hope it will have the desired effect of reducing vandalism.

“It has, of course, been very disheartening to see new benches and bins being damaged and defaced.

“We hope the graffiti and street art project we are currently developing with the council will help reduce tagging all over the park and create a focal point of quality street art.

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“We think it is important to address the vandalism currently occurring in the park, and the underlying causes, from different angles to try and find solutions.

“The park is for everyone and we want it to be a safe place for everyone to feel welcome in and enjoy.

“We hope the CCTV will contribute to this and that local people will support our fundraising efforts to install cameras on a permanent basis.”

Ms Baker added that a fund-raising appeal for permanent CCTV cameras, launched earlier this year, currently stands at £1,650.

Collecting boxes will soon be distributed to pubs in the town, and a fund-raising stall will be situated at the market in Colquhoun Square on Saturday, October 12.

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An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman confirmed that a camera was to be installed in the park, and said a site visit would take place today (Thursday) to determine the technical requirements for its installation.