As police officers took to the streets across the town at the weekend in a major operation aimed at reducing violent disorder in our communities, the Gazette was invited along to witness a typical Friday night on the beat.
Glenrothes was amongst a number of key towns across Fife that came under focus of one of the regions biggest police operations tackling violent disorder, youth crime, anti social behaviour and under age drinking.
As many as 85 officers, double the amount normally deployed during a weekend, were on the Fife streets, amongst them five additional officer team specially briefed at dealing with a number of key issues in communities across the Glenrothes area as part of the Campaign Against Violence (CAV) initiative.
The success of the CAV initiative has had a significant impact on the reduction of street-related crime in the region in recent years and is a tactic deployed with increasing regularity across the region.
Speaking to officers prior to commencing operations Superintendent Dougie Milton highlighted key initiatives across the town including ‘hot spot’ areas including Glenrothes bus station, Glenwood Centre and Leslie High Street.
“Acting on community led intelligence and performing high viability patrols goes along way not only to reassuring the public but also lets the criminal and potential offender know that we are there as a deterrent,” the superintendent told the assembled rank and file.
Across the town officers took to the streets to conduct a number of added operational duties including licence premises checks, the execution of warrants for violent offenders and to conduct curfew bail compliance checks along with the more traditional policing activities expected on evening patrols.
Inspector Derek Paxton overseeing the Glenrothes aspect of the CAV operation said the patrols offered a “great source of reassurance for the public” as well as “keeping a check on known offenders”.
“That’s what we hope to achieve, to let the public know that we’re here for them and doing the things that they want us to do and tackling the problems that are seen as important to them,” he added.
Proactive policing, focusing on early evening visits to known trouble makers, those connected to anti social behaviour and disorder have yielded significant reductions in crime in recent times.
Following up those early visits with later checks, thus keeping one step ahead of any potential incidents is now a main stay of the CAV approach to policing our streets and protecting the public.
“It’s what every officer wants to do - make a difference,” explains Inspector Paxton as we join officers patroling the Glenwood Shopping Centre.
“They want to do what they can for the community because that’s what they’re here for.
“If they are getting results then they are doing something for that community and it’s great to get out and see things happening on the ground,” he added.
And just minutes after officers were sharing a joke with a bunch of teenagers outside an off licence, police were executing two arrests for outstanding warrants from an address well known to the officers.
It’s a prime example of how effective implementation of the CAV initiative can bring about significant results.
“That’s an excellent piece of policing and a good result for all concerned, especially the local community,” said Inspector Paxton as the first handcuffed detainee is helped into the waiting police van following nothing more than a few mumbled complaints.
As the night progressed a round up key events across the town included such diverse issues as under age drinking by youths congregating in the town centre bus station to officers helping an elderly motorist found in distress because of a diabetic condition.
All in a nights work for Inspector Paxton and his team who continue to tackle crime head on while keeping the public reassured and safe.