RESIDENTS across WEST Dunbartonshire have shared their thoughts after the local authority was named as the fourth most dangerous place in Scotland.

A recent report by the Scottish Government has revealed the grim number of crimes committed in each council area during the 2023-24 period.

With 672 crimes committed for every 10,000 people, West Dunbartonshire has the fourth-highest number in Scotland.

Whilst this number is down on last year's figures it has been alarming for many residents within the local authority.

The Post has been gathering reactions from the community on whether they feel safe in their neighbourhood.

Issues at the forefront of the debate appear to be road safety, addiction issues and lack of spaces for young people.

One resident has said: “I have never felt fear having lived in Dalmuir for most of my life either walking about the streets after a night out or walking my dog.

“With community centres closing and amalgamating into mainstream services, a lack of activities for the youth, derelict land, council corruption and many more issues falling on West Dunbartonshire it’s easy to begin to understand how these young voices are oppressed into violence and vandalism.

“It’s a reaction to oppression. Addiction also has a way of breeding violence and we are up there with the highest drug-related deaths in Western Europe.

“I still love Clydebank’s landscape and people, they are like no other.”

Anti-social behaviour has been a topic of attention over the past few months as area commander Kirsten McLatchie recently pledged to help tackle the issue.

READ MORE: Clydebank to be the focus of police attention over the summer months

One way to reduce this was by setting up “action plans” for community cops to patrol hot spot areas such as Drumry and Whitecrook at peak times of anti-social behaviour.

It is hoped that the added police presence will provide reassurance to the community.

Clydebank East Community Council have questioned whether a rise in crime in the area could be partly down to a lack of space for young people amid deteriorating high streets and youth clubs.

The community council are currently aiding the Whitecrook Community Action Group in a bid to take over a community centre up for sale.

A spokesperson said: “With regards to the rise in crime in Clydebank and in particular Whitecrook, it’s very difficult to tackle it given the fact our teenagers have nowhere to go.

“Our local community need that centre and our youth in particular really need somewhere local to go and we firmly believe it would help reduce crime in our areas."

However, many locals were quick to defend their neighbourhood and wanted to give a positive outlook on the despairing figures.

One person said: "I don't think it's unsafe. I walk my dog here late at night and I've never felt worried. I do see many people with addiction issues though, often in the street during the day. They never do any harm, it's just really sad to see.

"I suppose people see it as a rough area but it should be seen as an unsupported or severely underfunded area. The mental health system is shocking, it's no wonder people can't get their lives in order when they're turned away."

The police have responded to the statistics in a bid to reassure the public that officers work hard and will continue to work hard to protect the local community.

Chief Inspector Kirsten McLatchie said: “West Dunbartonshire is a safe place to live and work, and officers and staff work tirelessly every day to tackle crime and protect the most vulnerable.

“Police Scotland works alongside partners to keep people safe and bring those who commit crime to justice.

“The Chief Constable has been clear that we must focus on strengthening and modernising our frontline so our people are best equipped to prevent crime and target those who blight our communities.”