Top cop: communities’ concerns are a priority

Photograph Jamie Forbes 12.7.13 KIRKINTILLOCH Police station. New Chief Inspector Rob Hay.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 12.7.13 KIRKINTILLOCH Police station. New Chief Inspector Rob Hay.

A new top cop has moved to East Dunbartonshire and has pledged to tackle issues of particular concern to local communities.

Chief Inspector Rob Hay (36) took over from the previous area commander for East Dunbartonshire, Chief Inspector Roddy Irvine, around three weeks ago.

CI Hay, who lives in Glasgow with his wife and three-year-old daughter, was a prison officer for two years before joining the police at the age of 22.

He said: “It’s a bit of a cliché but I joined because I wanted to give something back to the community. It really is a great job and it’s a privilege to serve the community.

“In my job you get to see, do and know things that nobody else does. You’re basically being professionally nosey!”

Since then he has had a varied career, including working as a detective in Special Branch and taking on positions in human resources and custody management.

He’s also worked the beat as a community sergeant in Glasgow City Centre, while he has also served as Area Commander for Linn and Langside.

More recently he worked in executive support at police headquarters, supporting the Chief Constable in the transition to Police Scotland.

CI Hay said: “I’ve certainly had a variety of roles in the police which has supplied me with a lot of tools which I can draw on in the day-to-day challenges of this job - which is certainly the most challenging job I have had to date.”

When it comes to his immediate priorities he quickly identifies crimes which have a direct impact on residents’ quality of life.

He said: “I’ve had a really good handover from my predecessor about the issues which are important to the local community and I am happy to have taken over a sub-division which is operating well.

“The priorities are violent crime and disorder - particularly when linked with alcohol - antisocial behaviour affecting the community, drug use and housebreaking.

“That’s what is of concern to local communities so that is what is of concern to my officers. It’s very much my belief that the local service we provide is designed around what people want.”

And CI Hay says that he’s already seen how the community and police - as well as the council - work well together in the area.

He explained: “This week I have received two anonymous tip-offs sent direct to my office. One of those tip-offs directly led to a number of arrests, so it really demonstrates the strength of engagement in the area.

“It shows we will act on any information passed to us by residents and take action accordingly.”