Communities in Dumfries and Galloway still feel safe

The results are in. People still feel safe in their local community. 90% of people told us that they feel safe where they live. This is compared to the national average of 87%. The survey results will be presented to Members at the meeting of Communities committee next week along with an update on what the Community Safety Team will be doing to tackle issues across the region.

Dog fouling continues to be the number one issue for local people. Over half of the respondents want the Community Safety Team to focus on dog fouling as the top priority. Littering and rowdy/nuisance behaviour also feature highly in the results.

In some communities in the region, respondents told us that they feel unsafe when out and about in their neighbourhood. To address this, Members will be told that new structured patrol patterns will be introduced so that the Community Safety Teams have a dedicated presence and can provide reassurance whilst focussing on deterrence and detection.

5% of the respondents in North West Dumfries and 6% in the Nith ward expressed a view that they would like the Community Safety Team to focus on the issue of discarded syringes which is apparent in these areas. Across the region, the issue of discarded syringes has seen a downturn of 50% (282 discarded syringes were uplifted during 2017/18 compared to 565 in 2016/17) but there is ongoing work in this area.

The data collected will be used by the Community Safety Team to plan their workloads and allow them to focus on areas of concern to the public. The Community Safety Team will be focussing on trying to deter antisocial behaviour and through intelligence led patrols. So that the patrols are as effective as possible, members of the public are being asked to help. When they see any offending behaviour, the public are encouraged to report it.

Chair of the Communities committee, Andy Ferguson, said “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete a survey. The excellent response shows that our residents care about their neighbourhoods. It’s only by knowing about the issues in our local communities that we can identify ways to address them. The Community Safety Team are just starting their next round of engagement days in towns across our region. I would encourage members of the public to go along and speak to the team about any issues in your neighbourhood.”
Vice Chair of the Communities committee, John Martin, said “I speak to our community wardens on a regular basis and their feedback when they are out and about is the same – people are sick of dog fouling where they live. The results of the survey prove this. It’s not an issue that we can solve on our own though; we need the public’s help. We are only as good as the information we receive, and our Community Safety Officers can only help to remove the problem if they know about it. I would encourage anyone to report persistent offenders to the Community Safety team, either by giving us a call or visiting our website.”