“Everything” must be done to end domestic abuse in Clydebank, councillors have heard.

Plagued with the status as the worst in Scotland for abuse, the problem was raised again in light of the annual West Dunbartonshire Council’s chief social worker’s report.

The full council heard how last year confirmed the area as having the highest prevalence in Scotland.

Councillor Danny Lennie said: “The fact we are anywhere near this high is absolutely shocking. Everything we can do to remove this has to be utilised.”

Echoing Cllr Lennie’s sentiment, Councillor Diane Docherty added: “It’s important that men speak on this issue. I agree with everything he said. Good for you.”

The report also found child protection referrals were up from 330 in 2016/17 to 423 in 2017/18, a rise of 28 per cent.

The increase the year before was 64 per cent and domestic abuse and neglect were prominent reasons, as well as poverty.

There was disagreement at the meeting on what caused increased domestic abuse.

Beth Culshaw, chief office of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said there are some issues around Christmas and New Year and also alcohol-fuelled incidents. But she said football matches didn’t seem to coincide with abuse.

Council leader Jonathan McColl said the police had repeatedly told the community planning partnership there was a spike after matches.

But Councillor Marie McNair said that’s not what women’s aid organisations, such as that in Clydebank, had told them.

In June, the council began a new policy for housing bosses to kick out abusers and protect victims of domestic crime. In the first weeks, they had 15 enquiries from women being abused.

The social worker’s annual report also said there had been a “significant” improvement in starting community payback orders (CPOs) coming from the courts. The council is advertising for more staff.

Sheriffs at Dumbarton had repeatedly hit out at delays, sometimes measured in months, before criminals started doing work in the community.

Council bosses redesigned the service and are advertising for more staff thanks to an increase in their Scottish Government grant. Performance is also measured on a weekly basis.

The council meeting was told by Carron O’Byrne, interim chief social work officer, that “one of our local sheriffs was impressed and wanted to go out with a CPO team”.