Panel has key role to combat crime

Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan

Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan

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The work of Levenmouth Community Safety Panel runs a close parallel with Police Scotland’s remit to protecting the people.

Therefore the group, which has existed for over 20 years and been described as the best of its kind in Fife, would not be undermined by the single police authority’s new approach to battling local crime.

The reassurance was given last week by Chief Superintendent Garry McEwan, Fife’s divisional commander, along with Sergeant Colin Falconer, who is involved with the dedicated new teams dealing with criminal prevention and enforcement.

The panel, chaired by Andrew Keddie, had called a special meeting to discuss its future. after Police Scotland revealed plans to remove local community safety officers (CSOs) and make them part of larger teams.

It had been feared that local panels may be sidelined, or even lost, if there was no direct contact with local CSOs.

However, Ch SuptMcEwan and Sgt Falconer said community activism was likely to increase and they hoped the Levenmouth panel, which had been very productive, would be part of that.

They added that, rather than losing a CSO, the area would be gaining a far bigger resource.

PC Richard Cartwright, known from his work with local schools as the ‘campus cop’, would likely be fulfilling the Levenmouth panel’s important secretarial role.

Members Stevie Prudhoe and Councillor David Alexander suggested the panel had to modernise its own approach and maybe try to attract new members.