Blue-light procession to thank ‘incredible’ community

Police, fire and ambulance crews performed a drive-by thank you in Milton, Glasgow.

Residents of a community often associated with anti-social behaviour have been praised by police who staged a blue-light procession as a thank you for respecting the coronavirus lockdown.

A noisy convoy of police, fire service and ambulance vehicles toured the streets of Milton in north Glasgow on Friday afternoon as families watched from windows and balconies, while observing social-distancing rules.

Community activist Alex O’Kane, who suggested the idea, said: “The majority of people in our community have been incredible and can take pride in doing the right thing by keeping indoors over these last few weeks.

“Milton is also home to many NHS and social care workers who put their own lives on the line every day to ensure other people are getting the help they need in these very difficult times.”

A 2018 academic study of communities across Britain found that Milton — along with nearby Possil and Ruchill — suffered most from poverty and inequality.

In March, Glasgow Caledonian University academics revealed plans for a “common good lab” in Milton, allowing students to “understand some of the issues around crime, gangs, youth crime, domestic violence, parenting issues and a whole range of inter-connected social issues and health problems”.

O’Kane said: “Milton’s reputation is continually being tarnished by people whose perceptions are largely out of date.

“Of course there are problems here but there is an honesty and pride which is rarely mentioned.

“That community spirit has been really strong during the coronavirus pandemic with people going out of there way to help each other and sticking to the lockdown rules.

“For Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to acknowledge that is fantastic and has generated a great deal of mutual goodwill.”

Chief inspector Scott McCarren, area commander based at Maryhill, said: “We have been extremely encouraged by the level of compliance in our local communities. 

“People understand the need to adhere to the guidelines in place and the reasons for them, and I would like to thank them for their continuing co-operation.

“We are working hard to keep people safe and on Friday afternoon we carried out public reassurance with community policing cars driving through the Milton area to show our appreciation, especially to the young children in the area.”

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