Information-sharing protocol aims to fight serious crime

An information-sharing agreement has been signed in an attempt to tackle serious and organised crime.

Argyll and Bute Council and Strathclyde Police have agreed the protocol as part of a wider national campaign led by the Scottish Government.

The project aims to raise awareness and ‘move beyond enforcement’ to involve all public agencies, local businesses and people in combatting the demand for the products of serious and organised crimes.

These could include fake goods, smuggled cigarettes and illegal drugs which are on sale in communities across Scotland, including Argyll and Bute.

A council statement said that in addition, millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was lost each year to apparently legitimate companies who tender for council contracts across Scotland.

Argyll and Bute Council leader, Roddy McCuish, said: “Serious and organised crime can cause devastating harm to our communities and bring misery to people’s lives through violence, crime and addiction.

“It is vital to work together to tackle the blight of serious and organised crime and ensure that there are positive alternatives, especially for our young people.”

Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan, Divisional Commander of Strathclyde Police, added: “We are absolutely determined to disrupt and dismantle organised criminal gangs. It is unacceptable that the hard-working, honest people of Argyll and Bute pay their taxes only for some of their money to end up in the pockets of those involved in organised crime.

“This event and the signing of the improved information sharing protocol shows that we ensure that scarce resources are only spent on legitimate companies who deserve to win contracts.

Argyll and Bute chief executive Sally Loudon and Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan sign the protocol