The main duty of a government, whatever its political colours, should always be to keep its citizens safe.

Unfortunately, right now crime is all too commonplace in our communities here in West Dunbartonshire and across Scotland.

Every one of us should be able to walk the streets, free of the fear of being a victim of crime.

Obviously, we do have to live with crime, but all of it is a blight on a civilised society. The continued soft-touch approach from the SNP government towards the sentencing of criminals, where there is little to deter them for behaving in such a manner, is a disgrace.

The Scottish Conservatives have a wide-ranging set of justice policies that will finally put victims first and ensure that we have local police routinely patrolling our streets.

We would also ensure that tougher sentences are handed down. The SNP have effectively scrapped short term prison sentences of less than a year and failed to ensure community sentences are carried out in full.

We would revoke that presumption against short term sentences and ensure community sentences include all unpaid work as well as piloting more intensive forms of community sentences.

Ending automatic early release is also key to ensure the sentences handed down are the sentences that are actually served by those who have made people’s lives a misery.

One of our major policies would be the introduction of a Victims’ Law, which would put victims and their interests first. Included in this would be a scrapping of the not proven verdict, so victims get a clear outcome, and enabling all victims to be able to provide statements so their voices are heard.

The implementation of Suzanne’s Law would also ensure that offenders cannot be released unless they reveal details of where bodies have been buried.

Finally, we must put bobbies back on the beat. The SNP’s creation of Police Scotland has slashed vital resources from local policing and that cannot continue.

Our Local Policing Act would ensure a guaranteed police presence on our streets and enable more community input into policing decisions taken at a local level.

Clamping down on crime won’t happen overnight, but for far too long the SNP have failed to resource our hard-working officers on the front line.

Ensuring our communities are safe will always be one of my primary concerns.