Police launch safety drive

Police have warned that they are launching a crackdown on motorists throughout March.

Drivers who break speed limits, use their mobile phones or don’t fasten seatbelts are all being targeted in the safety drive across the Helensburgh area and southern Argyll.

Latest figures show a steep increase in the number of tickets issued for speeding and driving licence offences in Argyll and Bute.

A report by Chief Superintendent Barry McEwan shows that 1,648 speeding offences were recorded between April and December last year, an 18.1% increase on 2012.

Driving licence infringements rose by 19.6%, to 116, but mobile phone offences fell by nearly 40%, to a total of 190.

His report to the council’s performance review and scrutiny committee shows little change in road traffic casualty statistics – 53 people were killed or seriously injured last year and 170 slightly injured, with no children affected.

Housebreakings fell from 154 to 133, and the detection rate for these increased to 29.3%; there was a slight increase in shoplifting (134 compared to 123), and the detection rate fell from 80.5% to 73.9%.

There were no murders in Argyll and Bute during that year but there was one attempted murder, one culpable homicide, 19 serious assaults, four robberies, 561 petty or common assaults and 3,318 complaints of disorder.

The full statistics are available in the agenda here.