Council to pay for more bobbies on beat in Borders

Bobbies on the beat-type policing is set to make a return in the region now Scottish Borders Council has agreed to pay for six officers and a sergeant.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 10:52 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd February 2018, 10:57 am
Former Borders police chief Watson McAteer.
Former Borders police chief Watson McAteer.

The new community policing team will be deployed to target local issues under the direction of the council, which has pledged £282,000 for the scheme in its latest budget.

The team will work with locality committees and elected members, and it will seek to prevent low-level crime and tackle issues such as selfish parking and anti-social behaviour.

Council leader Shona Haslam said the authority’s administration wants to bring back community policing after the “failed experiment” that is Police Scotland.

“When I was campaigning before the election in May, people told me that they want the council to start tackling anti social behaviour,” she told a full council meeting called on Tuesday to set next year’s budget.

“We are committing £282,000 to deliver six officers and a sergeant that will be locally tasked to do community policing.

“They will become well-kent faces in our communities and will soon get to know the well-kent faces in our towns.”

Welcoming the initiative, former police commander and Hawick councillor Watson McAteer said: “We have all struggled to come to terms with Borders Police being replaced by Police Scotland and a simple lack of officers patrolling our streets.”

He added: “Our current local officers do a great job despite this.”