1 May 2013
Now in its 6th year, an operation to crack down on antisocial behaviour in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park was launched ahead of the May bank holiday weekend. This year marks the first year Tayside, Central and Strathclyde Police forces will act as one single service under Police Scotland in the National Park. Operation Ironworks provides high profile patrols which promote responsible behaviour in the countryside. It runs in partnership with rangers from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and Forestry Commission Scotland.
During the high pressure months visitors to the National Park are sure to receive a warm welcome to popular sites across the area and experience a safe and enjoyable time. Over the past five years, Operation Ironworks has successfully reduced antisocial behaviour in some of the most heavily used sites across Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. On the east side of Loch Lomond, litter and vandalism has fallen by 90% following successful Ironworks patrols and the introduction of a camping and alcohol byelaw.
Leading the operation Inspector Gerry McMenemy of Police Scotland said: "The National Park is now more family friendly than ever due to the work that we have carried out since Operation Ironworks started in 2008.Prior to that we knew that families didn't want to come to certain areas of the National Park because of the antisocial behaviour by a minority of people.
"We are preparing for the busiest weekend of the year in terms of visitor numbers to the area. The weather has not been very nice recently and with that changing we are expecting it to be busy. We will have officers out in the area to ensure those intent on committing antisocial behaviour are dealt with swiftly."
Fiona Logan Chief Executive of the National Park added:
“Operation Ironworks has achieved great things since it started five years ago resulting in many parts of the National Park being responsibly enjoyed by a wide variety of visitors. Throughout 2013, we’re celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland and it’s vitally important that we all play our part in making sure our National Park is looked after. This includes protecting precious wildlife and landscapes that make Loch Lomond and The Trossachs such a special visitor destination.
We look forward to working with Police Scotland and all our partners to make sure people can come and enjoy the National Park and take real pride in having such a fantastic place right on their doorstep.”
Liz Shortall, Communities, Recreation Tourism Manager for Forestry Commission Scotland, said:
“We’re proud to have been involved in this successful initiative. It is a good illustration of how all of the key players – as Partners in the Park – can work together to improve the area for the benefit of visitors, communities and the environment.
Police and rangers will team up to target issues such as vandalism, litter, noise disturbance and traffic offences.
To report matters of anti-social behaviour any of the agencies can be contacted or dial 101 to report crime, get advice or speak with a local officer. Information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.