THE public is being urged to help cops tackle "exploitation" in the city centre by reporting drug dealing and misuse.

That’s according to the city’s new top cop Chief Inspector Natalie Carr who says the key to cracking down on these issues will be targeting those who are "exploiting" vulnerable people and being able to offer support to those who need it.

She said: "There’s no denying that exploitation goes on in the city centre, that includes drug misuse, so key for me is looking at targeting the offenders, and there are robust policing plans around that.

"We’re going to have increased patrols and high visibility, but we also have plainclothes officers that we use, and we work really closely with the Violence Prevention Board and the Public Protection Unit because it all links into the vulnerabilities of the city centre.

"The vulnerabilities are aligned to our public health approach to policing, so finding what are the root causes of this, if we can identify the root causes and give the support to the people that need it, whilst from a policing perspective making sure that we are targeting the folk that are exploiting the young people and adults in the city centre."

READ MORE: Drug misuse in Glasgow city centre revealed as biggest worry for residents

Last year, we reported a community council survey found drug misuse topped the list of residents’ concerns in the Merchant City and Trongate area, with most people worried about finding discarded paraphernalia on the street and a rise in visible drug use.

Chief Inspector Carr, however, stated officers "can’t do this alone" and is encouraging those who witness illegal drug sales to contact police.

She said: "We rely on the public.

"We police by consent apart from anything else, so at the heart of everything we do, we rely on the public for that exchange of information.

"I would encourage the public to engage with police when they see them, to phone 101, or 999 obviously in an emergency, and we’ve got Crimestoppers.

"That’s valuable information that we can use to make sure we are allocating resources proportionately to the areas of increased demand."

We took to the streets of Glasgow city centre to ask residents whether they would report the issue and the response was mixed.

Erin Thomson says she has witnessed illegal drug selling in the city centre.

She said: "I’ve really started to notice the drug dealing since I’ve lived here.

"I would report it because I’ve seen it in places where there are kids, early in the morning, and on my way home, there’s no pattern it’s all the time."

Glasgow Times: Erin ThomsonErin Thomson

Mubeen M. says he would report dealing to police, but that he doesn't believe the issue is as much of a concern in Glasgow as other places.

He said: "I would report drug dealing if I saw anything.

"I travel a lot and I don’t think Glasgow is as bad as other cities."

Glasgow Times: Mubeen M.Mubeen M.

Stoica Andrei says he doesn't believe there is much motivation to report drug dealing to the police as it 'won't lead to anyone getting caught'.

He said: "I haven’t seen anyone selling drugs in the city but there’s not much interest in reporting because there’s not much incentive.

"They wouldn’t get caught anyway, by the time you report it to the police, it’s too late."

Glasgow Times: Stoica AndreiStoica Andrei

Daniel Jones also agrees he wouldn't report drug dealing to police.

He said: "Drug deals are an issue but also part of life.

"I wouldn’t report it because it’s part of what life is in Glasgow."

Glasgow Times: Daniel JonesDaniel Jones