The potential of police hubs in Dumbarton and Alexandria town centres will be raised by West Dunbartonshire Council’s leader later this month.
Martin Rooney said he would speak to Police Scotland about the potential of using vacant shops as hubs, after a resident outlined concerns over a lack of police presence in town centres.
The Dumbarton man, who asked not to be named, said: “I have contacted politicians about giving the police an empty premises in the town so we have a presence in the town, especially for the elderly residents who I have heard saying they that feel uneasy when getting their pensions and leaving the post office.
“I have spoken to a couple of police officers who think this would be a good idea but the question they asked was who would fund this I said surely the council.”
However Local Area Commander for West Dunbartonshire, Inspector Ryan McMurdo, said: “As far I am aware there have been no discussions with police locally with regard to the introduction of a community hub in Dumbarton.
“At this stage, there is no requirement to introduce a community hub as Dumbarton Police Station is centrally located and we have a dedicated town centre community officer, supported by local officers, for the area.”
Alexandria’s police offices were closed in 2013, whilst the force’s Dumbarton base is in Garshake - more than a mile from the town centre.
Council leader, Councillor Martin Rooney said: “If Police Scotland’s operating model now requires them to have a base in our town centres rather than operating from their own offices and carrying out mobile patrols, then they can apply for a commercial lease of vacant premises from a number of property owners including the council.
“When the new council offices in Dumbarton were built, Police Scotland were identified as potential users but they decided against this. If they want to take up office space in the town they should contact the council to discuss their needs and agree a lease arrangement.
“When Police Scotland closed their offices in Alexandria a number of years ago, the council gave them access to the one-stop shop before it was closed down. If Police Scotland are looking to lease property in Alexandria town centre they should make an approach to the council about this.
“There is a scheduled meeting of the West Dunbartonshire Community Planning partnership later in September and, as chair of the meeting I will be happy to raise the issue with Police Scotland and if we have suitable property which matches their needs and their budget, then I’m sure that both parties could come to a mutually beneficial agreement.