A scheme tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Glasgow's Saltmarket has won two awards from Strathclyde Police's Chief Constable.
Stephen House has paid tribute to work carried out to improve the lives of residents in the city's Saltmarket and Clydeside. It follows a crackdown on antisocial behaviour including drunks and drug users frequenting the areas.
The Saltmarket/Clydeside Working Group, led by Councillor Gordon Matheson, leapt into action following complaints from residents. The group is made up of partners including Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Community & Safety Services (GCSS), Strathclyde Police and Glasgow Housing Association (GHA).
Mobile CCTV vans operated by Glasgow Community & Safety Services were drafted into the area to complement increased patrols by uniformed police officers and plain clothes operations. GHA also upgraded door entry systems to local flats and improved security in back court areas to stop unwanted "visitors".
Glasgow's Licensing Board also decided there were already ample pubs and off sales in the Saltmarket and put the area on its Over Provision List. This means the Board makes a presumption against the granting of new liquor licences in the area although every case is judged on its own merits.
The working group also liaised with the Salvation Army on the decommissioning of Hope House - it's accommodation for people affected by homelessness.
All these measures have helped make Saltmarket and the Clydeside safer and more pleasant environments.
This success was recently honoured in the Strathclyde Police Chief Constable's Excellence Awards. The group won the prize for Community Wellbeing as well as the overall Chief Constable's Award. A presentation ceremony was held at the Strathclyde Police Training College at Jackton on January 28.
Leader of Glasgow City Council and local councillor, Gordon Matheson, said: "The Saltmarket can play a key role in linking the regeneration of the Merchant City and the Waterfront.
"Since becoming councillor for this area, I've been determined to clean up this historic part of town, tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. That's exactly what the Working Group has been doing.
"We've made it cleaner, safer and better, and I believe residents and businesses will have noticed a big improvement in the area.
"So I am delighted that the group has been honoured with these awards.
"This initiative was a perfect example of how partnership working can produce positive results for Glasgow residents. We tackled the issues decisively on several fronts, making life more pleasant for people living in the Saltmarket and surrounding areas."
Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House, QPM, said: "People who have their lives blighted by crime and antisocial behaviour want nothing more than for someone to help end the misery. They want to know that everyone is working together to make their community a safer, better place to live and work.
That is exactly what happened in this instance. The police, local authority and other agencies came together with a common goal of improving the lives of the people of the Saltmarket. The results were outstanding. I am delighted to be able to recognise the efforts of everyone involved by giving them this award.
"The real prize, of course, lies in driving down crime and make people's lives better."
Chief Executive Martin Armstrong said: "We want our tenants, factored homeowners and everyone who lives in Glasgow to feel safe in their homes and their communities.
"That's why we're working closely with other agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour through projects like the Saltmarket/Clydeside Working Group.
"We are delighted it has made a big difference to people's lives in and around the Saltmarket and that our joint efforts have been recognised in the Chief Constable's awards."