Weekly surgeries in the glens area

Police Constable Ally Smith
Police Constable Ally Smith

TAYSIDE Police are reaching out into the community with weekly surgeries in the glens area of Forfar.

The community flat in Glen Moy Terrace, run by the Glens United Action Group, will be available from 3pm to 4 pm every Wednesday, starting next week.

It is hoped local residents will make use of the sessions, which will be led by Tayside Police.

Also in attendance will be representatives from Angus Council’s community housing team and rent arrears.

In launching the initiative, community liaison officer Constable Ally Smith said he hoped local residents would make use of the informal surgeries which would allow them to raise issues, in confidence.

He said: “My predecessor, Wendy Craigie, ran a fairly successful session in the glens. This is something we have decided to start up again.

“We are hoping that, by running it at the same time every week, then people will know when we are there.

“These surgeries give people the opportunity to discuss any number of issues they may have with these agencies.

“Rather than coming down to the police station or going down to the Access office, they can just pop into the local flat.”

The re-introduction of the surgery in Gallowshade was prompted by the recent visit of the Community Task Force and their mobile support unit in the Viewmount area last year.

Constable Smith continued: “Some people may not want to come along to a police station or a police vehicle, so by using a local community flat, more people may be more comfortable to come along and speak to the different agencies there.”

Following on from the success of the task force visit to residents in Viewmount, Constable Smith stated people, generally, were still loathe to come forward with issues.

“We are trying to encourage people not to tolerate these type of behaviours and let the police or the council know about it.

“It is a multi-agency approach now so all these agencies can assist, but we’ve got to know about it before we can do anything about it. It is not just the police who deal with these issues.”

If successful it is hoped similar surgeries can be held in other parts of the town.

Constable Smith concluded: “We would like to try do this some place else, but it is getting a location that is the hard thing.

“We would like to do this in the Restenneth and Lordburn areas. They have an action group but, unfortunately, they don’t have any premises.

“However, we may do something with the vehicle in these areas, similar to what we did in Viewmount.

“This is really going back to the more old-fashioned type of policing, when the police officers were out walking in the areas, speaking to people. But for different operational reasons this is not happening as much.”