The new top cop for East Dunbartonshire has pledged to listen to people’s concerns and tackle issues important to them in the community.
Chief Inspector Craig Smith took over from the previous area commander for East Dunbartonshire, CI Rob Hay, a few weeks ago.
CI Smith (40) told the Herald: “Keeping people safe is my priority.
“This job, for me, is very much about listening to the concerns of the local community.”
CI Smith says he also wants to harness the power of social media which he says is invaluable, particularly in helping to trace missing people.
He said: “I would like to emphasise that Twitter is not for reporting crime.
“It’s about communicating and sharing local information, and updating the local community.
“It’s invaluable in getting the message out. It means we now have a lot of eyes looking out for a missing person, for example.
“We can also appeal for witnesses to incidents and give information on adverse weather and road closures.”
Much of CI Smith’s career since joining the force in 1997 has been in community policing roles, getting to the heart of local issues and problems.
He said: “Being a police officer was always something I wanted to do. It is an opportunity to make a real difference in the community and to help people and make a difference to quality of lives.”
The Chief Inspector was heavily involved in last year’s hugely successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as an Event Commander.
He said: “I was responsible for delivering the safe games in the road cycling events. It was a great experience to be involved in that.”
Much of the Chief Inspector’s work has focussed on areas with social problems. He served as a Sergeant in the Gorbals and also worked as an Inspector at Maryhill before being promoted to the rank of Chief Inspector in September last year.
CI Smith said: “We already know what a lot of the priorities are for the people of East Dunbartonshire through our ongoing consultation process.”
Community concerns throughout Kirkintilloch and the surrounding areas include anti-social behaviour, drugs, violent crime and road safety.
In Milngavie and Bearsden, house break-ins and thefts are a priority, along with road safety and drugs.