POLICE patrols in Helensburgh and Lomond are to be stepped up during the Euro 2020 football championships, the area’s inspector has promised.

Inspector Roddy MacNeill says his officers will visit licensed premises in the area throughout the tournament to make sure they are complying both with licensing rules and Covid-19 requirements.

The championships – delayed for a year because of the pandemic – kick off on Friday evening, with Scotland's first match taking place against the Czech Republic at Hampden on Monday, June 14 with a 2pm kick-off.

Inspector MacNeill also gave more details of plans to place 30mph stickers on wheelie bins as part of the latest effort to stop speeding motorists.

Arrochar and Garelochhead will be used as two pilot areas for the latter project, which the officer admits sounds “a bit odd”, but says has worked successfully in Dumfries.

Councillors are set to hear from the inspector at a virtual meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee on Thursday, June 17.

Inspector MacNeill said: “We will experience resource demand from the Euros this month, but officer numbers from this area attending are minimal.

“Licensed premises are back in business and we will once again be visiting premises to ensure compliance with licensing legislation and also any remaining Covid-19 requirements. Patrols will be increased during the Euros.

“Speeding as always is on the radar; there are various ‘hot spots’ around the sub division that we, assisted by our traffic department colleagues, are addressing to the best of our ability.

“I have arranged for 30mph speed limit stickers to be put on all the wheelie bins on the main roads through Arrochar, it has been trialled in Dumfries with some success.

“On bin days it gives drivers a line of reminders about the limit and is thought to influence driver behaviour. I am going to do likewise in Garelochhead.

“I appreciate it does sound a bit odd, but is not costly and is quite visually effective. I will assess these two areas once complete and take it from there.”

The inspector also gave details of government funding which had been received for joint patrols by police officers and local authority staff, in view of expected increases in visitor numbers this summer.

He added: “It will involve a police officer patrolling jointly with a newly appointed authority warden and they will cover the more outlying areas as well as the towns.

“They will visit the common ‘wild camping’ areas and educate those present on appropriate behaviour when at these locations.

“Initial patrols started last weekend in Cowal, and a Helensburgh and Lomond Warden post has been advertised.

“The general area is getting busier with visitors, more so over within the general National Park areas – Duck Bay, Luss, West Loch Lomond, Tarbet and Arrochar.

“Joint National Park and police patrols are underway and officers are joining National Park rangers on patrol on Loch Lomond. [We are] seeing a substantial increase in numbers [of] jet skis, boats and swimmers.

“Officers are assisting to enforce by laws and also providing a presence on the islands. This is a very worthwhile exercise.”