A Largs councillor is calling on improved police coverage in the town after a spate of break-ins over the past few months.

A number of premises were smashed and broken into in Aitken Street and Tron Place over the weekend, culminating in an arrest, with a 27-year-old man due to appear at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on September 19 in relation to the alleged offences.

The arrest follows a number of crimes earlier this month, and in May, which saw businesses in the town centre targeted, some on repeated occasions.

Cllr Tom Marshall believes the police now need to extend and improve their coverage in Largs.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

He said: "My concern is that there is no 24/7 police station in Largs any longer. Brooksby is only open from 8am till 5pm and over recent months, the out-of-hours intercom button has not been working so it has been quite hard to contact police.

"I think we really miss having an old fashioned police station in Largs.

"There are three or four police cars sitting outside the police station in Kilbirnie.

"I remember the days when we used to have police stations in Fairlie, Skelmorlie and West Kilbride, and local cops were on call and there were special constables who supported them. All that has just evaporated.

"The other concern that I have is that Police Scotland are moving towards giving out recorded police warnings rather than fixed penalty fines and I think there needs to be more of a deterrent."

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Largs Police outside the former station in 2016Largs Police outside the former station in 2016 (Image: Newsquest)

As recently reported, Independent councillor Ian Murdoch has called for an urgent meeting with Police Scotland and senior officials at Norht Ayrshire Council regarding the rise in crime in the town affecting businesses and the community.

Ian said: "There have been many break-ins earlier this year.

"I feel it is important that we have a meeting with senior officials at the council and with the police to discuss the matter further and what measures need to be taken.

"Improved CCTV coverage is one possible option but again who is going to pay for that?

"We need to look at various measures and see how we can improve the situation and possibly get more police on the ground."

Sergeant Donald Fisher, of Largs Police, said: " I am acutely aware of the incidents over the weekend and last few weeks and the impact they have had on local businesses and the community, and we have been working hard to address."

The intercom issue for the out-of-hours access to police at Brooksby has also been reported, with an update expected at this Thursday's Largs Community Council meeting.

A Police Scotland spokesperson offered advice to businesses and said: "We recommend that commercial premises install an alarm and monitoring system and keep keyholders' details up to date.

"When premises are closed, it is recommended where possible that shutters are used over doors and windows to further reduce the means of access to the premises. If this is not possible, high-value items should be removed from any window display and locked in a secured safe.

"Ideally, any cash takings should be banked daily, and only a minimum amount of cash float should be retained."

CCTV systems have recently become much more affordable and are an ideal deterrent as well as also capturing evidence to assist police with identification and a conviction.

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