Police, Fire & Court

Video: Police in West End set up Problem Solving Team to tackle community issues

By Ian Marland at

Police in the West End have been explaining how they are now geared up to tackle the many problems that communities face that are often more than just crimes.

Problem Solving Teams were introduced by Police Scotland towards the end of last year.

In the West End, a team has now been established working out of Partick Police Station, made up of 20 officers and two sergeants.

Dedicated: The Problem Solving Team is 20-officers strong and led by two sergeants, including Alistair MacDonald (pictured)

Its remit is a wide one, but often the issues require officers to work with other agencies – such as social workers or health services – to find long-term fixes to local recurring problems.

While drug dealing and housebreak-ins are a big part of its work, social behaviour issues and petty vandalism often require more than just police intervention.

Sgt Alistair MacDonald is one of the members of the Problem Solving Team (PST).

Contact: You can get through to the Problem Solving Team by ringing 101.

He told Glasgow West End Today: “Part of the role of the Problem Solving Team is to identify people with mental health issues, or vulnerable people in the community.

“We work with our partner agencies, and the people we identify, to find long-term solutions and the best way to help them.

“Local policing in Glasgow’s West End remains a 24/7 service.

Base: The public can find the Problem Solving Teams at Partick Police Station.

“However, the new local policing team is formed of two sergeants and 20 officers who are available at the peak times to work with our partners and work with our local community.”

The PST based at Partick has replaced the previous Community Policing team.

While its focus is broadly similar, its make up is more dedicated and more flexible in terms of officers’ shift patterns.

The new structure has also freed up more officers to concentrate on frontline policing across the West End.

Community: Problem Solving Teams have taken over from Community Police officers.

Sergeant MacDonald outlined key points about the team:

* The team looks at acquisitive crimes such as housebreak-ins and cycle thefts

* It tackles drug dealing, drug mis-use and anti-social behaviour

* It focuses on local issues and community problems, using emerging crime trends

* It links in with local communities, either through community councils or the public directly

* It uses locally-gathered intelligence to address problems

* Team is smaller, yet more defined and dedicated than under previous guise of Community Policing

Watch: Sgt Alistair MacDonald explains the key points about the Problem Solving Team.

To get in touch with the team is easy – either call 101 and asked to be put through to the Problem Solving Team at Partick, or go along to the station on Dumbarton Road in person.