Police officers need to get back into the local community in a bid to prevent growing gang problems among local youngsters in Shettleston, they have said.

Concerns had previously been raised with councillor Thomas Kerr that there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour over the last few months, with reports of young people “hanging about the streets drinking” because the community centres they used to attend remain closed as a result of Covid-19.

And now that the pandemic appears to be easing, officers said they wanted to return to the effective community work to try and reverse a rise in crimes such as break ins and car thefts.

During Shettleston’s area partnership meeting on Thursday members were informed by Police Scotland that they would be engaging more with the community. 

Officers are hoping to cut down on the number of break ins and thefts while working with young people in Shettleston and Baillieston to educate them against committing crime

A police spokesman said: “We will engage with the young people as there have been some community tensions between gangs from the Parkhead and Shettleston area and the Baillieston and Coatbridge area.

“We are working with our campus officers at East Bank and Bannerman to try and bring together those young people to direct them from engaging in gang related activities.

“That will take officers out on the ground patrolling the areas where they hang about and educate them which is something that is ongoing.”

New members of staff will also be encouraged to go out and talk to people, learn about their fears and needs within the community.

They will take action to reduce dishonesty crimes by putting more vehicles on patrol.

The spokesman added: “Hopefully we can move back to more proactive work and re-establish those community partnerships we have been doing before the pandemic. 

“I think we need to get back out there in the community, visiting those vulnerable people and engaging with them much more.

“There seems to have been a bit of a rise in motor vehicles, house break ins and attempted house break ins.

“We are going to put on more patrols in unmarked vehicles to try and disrupt that behaviour and target the individuals involved in that.”

Following the meeting Shettleston councillor Thomas Kerr said that he was encouraged to hear that police will try to address the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area. 

He said: “We need to try and do something to help the young people as well because the problem is that there is not really much for young people to do so they are hanging about the streets drinking.

“There is more anti-social behaviour because community centres are closed which is something we really have to look at.

“That is why it is reassuring to hear that the police are going to try and help them.”