The Council’s Community Safety Team may not always be noticed, but they are there and making a real difference to how safe people feel in their own communities.
That was the message from a recent survey for elected members at their monthly Wigtown Area Committee meeting on Wednesday.
But the number one topic of discussion in all communities, across the entire region, remains dog fouling, with 64 per cent saying it was their community’s biggest problem.
Members of the public were asked three questions: How safe do you feel when out and about in your neighbourhood? What types of anti-social behaviour do you feel are a problem? What is the number one issue you would like Community Safety Teams to focus on?
In Mid Galloway and Wigtown West, 134 residents took part with 65.7 per cent feeling ‘very safe’ in their community and only 00.7 per cent ‘unsafe’.
Top of the anti-social behaviour chart was dog fouling with 59 per cent followed by litter at 53 per cent and fly tipping was third with a score of 17.7 per cent. A total of 38.5 per cent wanted dog owners who allow their dogs to foul in public place to be targeted by the Community Safety Teams, followed again by litter and fly tipping.
In Stranraer, out of 162 residents, 39.1 felt ‘very safe’; 76.9 said dog fouling was their top anti-social behaviour and 59.5 wanted dog owners targeted. Litter was the next big issue, but the third rated problem was rowdy/nuisance behaviour.
Mid Galloway member Jim McColm enquired why fly tipping was such an issue in the Machars and was told by council officer that there was a problem with residents leaving unwanted goods outside the gates of recycling centres if the centres were shut.
Councillor Graham Nicol added: “The report was a good news story and I was delighted the figures are moving in the right direction. But pet owners should be more responsible.”