Levenmouth’s community police contingent has been reduced in number – but the remit and the level of dedication remains just as strong.
Changes to the system under Police Scotland were explained last week at the first of the new Ward Community Surgeries – replacing the old community engagement meetings – held at Arden House in Leven.
Members of the public from Ward 22 – covering Leven, Kennoway, Lundin Links and the Largo villages – heard about the priorities for various types of crime.
As part of a six-month pilot project – the only one of its kind in Scotland – the community police team for Levenmouth had been cut from 22 officers and three sergeants to four officers, one sergeant and a youth alcohol and violence reduction officer.
Community officers in Ward 22 – PCs Lorraine King and Gordon Latto – were complemented in Ward 23 (Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss areas) by PCs Greg Mizerny and Alan Shovlin.
The other officers had gone into response teams, meaning more were available to react to major incidents and emergencies.
But, explained Community Sergeant Mike Collins, while there were fewer local community officers, they were there virtually all the time, dedicated to community issues, and largely exempt from other duties.
Procedures included prevention, intelligence gathering, engagement, communication and enforcement – with objectives for the ward to combat anti-social behaviour, assault and violent crime, road safety and road crime, and misuse of drugs.
Recent operations included tackling youth disorder around the Shorehead area of Leven and also dealing with youngsters causing disturbances in Anderson Court.
Police had used early intervention methods, particularly with some of the younger group members – informing parents by letter of their children’s activities and also making follow-up visits to ensure the letters were received.
Operation Ducati, aimed at anti-social use of motorcycles, was continuing with intelligence gathering and plain-clothed and high-visibility patrols.