Anti-social behaviour rose sharply across East Renfrewshire last year, the Barrhead News can reveal.

Police received 2,114 complaints about disorder from concerned residents between April and December 2017 – up from 1,714 for the same period the previous year.

Figures included in a Police Scotland report presented to the latest meeting of East Renfrewshire Council’s cabinet also show the number of vandalism and shoplifting incidents has increased, although housebreakings, serious assaults and domestic crimes are down.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said: “We have seen a significant increase in the numbers of calls to police regarding youth disorder and alcohol consumption across East Renfrewshire.

“Persistent anti-social behaviour by youths can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local communities.”

Ch Supt McInulty also pointed out that the festive period is traditionally the time of year that sees a rise in demand for police services.

The report shows that, in the last nine months of 2017, the number of vandalism incidents was 472. That represents an increase of almost one-third.

There were 192 shoplifting thefts – up by 114 on the previous year – while the number of house break-ins dropped from 100 to 92.

The number of sexual crimes also fell slightly – from 74 between April and December 2016 to 71 in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of drug-related arrests dropped from 25 in 2016 to 24 last year, while alcohol-related crime fell by 18 per cent.

Ch Supt McInulty added: “The report highlights some positives in driving down crime, with serious assaults, housebreaking and domestic crimes all showing reductions in numbers.

“I am acutely aware of the challenges faced in terms of addressing the areas where our performance needs to be improved and keep improving.

“I am delighted with the continued partnership work with East Renfrewshire Council and my commitment to the residents of East Renfrewshire continues.”