AN “invaluable” Clydebank group that help protect the community has been educating the elderly about how to take action against vandalism.

The Clydebank Crime Prevention Panel (CCPP) has been supporting the police in Clydebank for the last 47 years.

Anne MacDougall and Ellen Harper both joined at the same time – 35 years ago – and have been dedicated ever since.

The group educates Bankies about protecting themselves and their property from crime in a number of ways whilst also supporting working officers.

Anne said: “We bought police the first metal detector for knives, equipment for their bikes, body cameras and, recently, two alcohol meters.

“We do three stalls a year in the shopping centre and give out lots of useful stuff.”

The group held a night focused on vandalism in Clydebank Town Hall recently.

Community Inspector Allan Dickson and Constable David Shaw both spoke.

The audience was informed that although there were 800 vandalism incidents in Clydebank in the past year, 400 of those were committed by the same person who was arrested and went on to serve six months in prison.

A cover of new leaflets that were handed out were designed by Eryn of youth group Y Sort It.

The 16-year-old was presented with £100 prize money, and two runners up, Brandon and Michael, were each presented with £50 each.

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Insp Dickson told the Post: “It has been an absolute privilege to be involved in the CCPP’s latest project.

“They have produced a very useful and worthwhile leaflet.

“Congratulations also to Eryn, a very well deserved winner of the competition to design the cover.

“The CCPP has been doing great work in the local community for decades now and the support they give to the police and victims of crime locally is invaluable.

“They are always looking for new members so I would encourage anyone with an interest to get in touch with them, the work they do is rewarding and of great benefit to the local community.”

As well as working with youth groups, the CCPP has educated pupils across the town about the importance of internet safety.

Members of the community have also been receiving items to protect themselves against crime for years.

The group give out domestic abuse cards with useful numbers, purse bells, covers to protect credit cards, personal attack alarms, a gadget that measures your tyre tread and much more.

Around 10 volunteers meet at Clydebank police station every two month.

Anne said: “I first joined because I was a district nurse and my car kept getting broken into. I think people thought there was drugs in my car, so they kept breaking in.

“The police said to me at the time ‘why don’t you come along to the CCPP’.

“I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. We have quite fun meetings, but we have an agenda that we work with and get through, we talk about ideas and what we’re going to do next.”

For more information or to get involved with CCPP please contact Anne on 0141 587 7632.