It’s business as usual for police in the Borders

Chief Inspector Andy Clare, Local Commander for the Scottish Borders.
Chief Inspector Andy Clare, Local Commander for the Scottish Borders.

The new Borders area commander says it is business as usual for policing in the region, despite admitting he will have to work with a tighter budget.

Chief Inspector Andy Clark will be based at Hawick Police Station, having served 25 years in the force.

The 43-year-old, who has previously served at Duns, said: “We are working within tighter budgets but my priority is to make sure the people of the Borders do not see any loss of service.

“We still continue to show a decrease in crime, which is happening year on year in the area, and continue to solve over half of all the crime that is reported.

“The big thing for me is that people will not notice a change to policing in the Borders on day one of Police Scotland.”

Chief Inspector Clark, who has no plans to shut any of the region’s stations, says greater access to specialised units mean Operation Goal, the biggest series of drugs raids to take place in the Borders last year, could become more common.

He added: “We are in a fortunate position in that we have our intelligence unit all set up who will be feeding us information and we will continue operations such as Operation Goal.

“But these could be bigger and better because of more access to more specialist resources.”

Plans also include up to 40 additional police officers available in the Borders under the new single force. All staff who currently serve behind a desk, including senior figures, will now be required to spend time on the beat as part of the area’s Campaign Against Violence.

Chief Supt McDiarmid said: “It means we could have 40 additional officers on the streets of the Borders to deal with a particular problem.”