Anti-social behaviour cases in West Dunbartonshire could exceed 1,000 by the end of the financial year, opposition councillors have warned.

A total of 978 cases were recorded in the area in 2020-21, compared to 312 in 2017-18, according to figures presented by Labour councillor David McBride to a full council meeting last week.

The budget for dealing with the problem dropped from £719,000 to £398,000 over the same period.

The council has already had to deal with 511 instances of anti-social behaviour since April on a budget of £446,000 for the year 2021-22.

Councillors backed calls for a report and seminar to set out the current situation.

Councillor McBride said: “I don’t think this is a controversial motion, simply stating the facts, information, noting budget allocations and the rise of anti-social behaviour cases.

“One thing I’m sure about is that when a constituent contacts us about an anti- social behaviour case we know this case is likely to be one of our most difficult in our casework.”

During 2017/18 the budget was £719,000 with just 312 cases that year.

Due to staff reductions the council can only operate with a maximum of three officers which means the service ends at 2am. 

The number of mediation referrals has also steadily reduced from 93 in 2017, 71 in 2018, 41 in 2019, and to 13 in 2020/21 when the service was suspended due to Covid. 

There have been no referrals during the current financial year. 

SNP councillor Diane Docherty added: “I fully agree that anti-social behaviour is something we all really struggle with as councillors. 

“I would add that the council asks officers to arrange a seminar to allow councillors to ask detailed questions and help officers determine areas of particular interest or concern