WEST Lothian Council and Lothian and Borders Police have agreed to an information sharing protocol which is specifically designed to target people who are involved in serious and organised crime.
The protocol was approved at a meeting of the council executive this month and has been designed to comply with legislation concerning the sharing of information and data.
The protocol was signed by West Lothian Council’s chief executive Graham Hope and Chief Superintendent Jeanette McDiarmid, local area commander, at West Lothian Civic Centre.
Leader of West Lothian Council, Councillor John McGinty, said: “The council welcomes this joined up approach to addressing serious organised crime.
‘‘The recent Operation Focus is a testament of how partnership working can tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
‘‘Sharing information should send a message to criminals that there is nowhere to hide.”
Chief executive Graham Hope explained: “This protocol is part of a commitment made by SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) to the national task force that all 32 Scottish local authorities will put in place action plans to support the strategy to divert, disrupt, deter and detect serious organised crime.
‘‘The plan aims to make West Lothian communities safer and improve the quality of life for everyone.
‘‘Work is now progressing on a joint serious organised crime strategy.”
Chief Supt. McDiarmid said: “The effects of serious and organised crime are a blight on our communities and all partners have a role in helping to deliver the national strategy.
‘‘The information sharing protocol is required to facilitate the new arrangements and improve outcomes for community safety in our localities.”