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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 July 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Police crack down on youth gangs
A former gang member at the launch of Operation Tag - Picture from Strathclyde Police
The operation was launched in February
A campaign to crack down on youth gangs in the south of Glasgow has been stepped up.

For the third weekend in a row about 90 extra police officers have been posted on the streets in "hot spot" areas as part of Operation Tag.

Intelligence reports have identified the areas where gangs congregate.

Plain clothes "spotters" are being used to "identify and disrupt" gangs. Police said most trouble came between 1800 BST and 2200 BST on Friday and Saturday.

Rival gangs

Extra officers are being posted from police offices at Govan, New Gorbals, Cathcart (Aikenhead Road), Giffnock (covering Barrhead) and Pollok.

They have detailed information about where gangs operate and the location of the main points of dispute between rival youth groups.

Operation Tag was launched in February.

Pc Michael McCullagh, from Operation Tag at Govan Police Office, said the initial phase of the campaign had sent uniformed officers into the hot spot areas.

The uniforms provide reassurance to the public and the plain clothes provide intelligence on targeting those causing the problems
Pc McCullagh

"We have now changed from a blanket approach to a cellular approach which sends teams of officers not only in uniform but also in plain clothes into hot spot areas for youths and gang disorder," said Pc McCullagh.

"The uniforms provide reassurance to the public and the plain clothes provide intelligence on targeting those causing the problems."

There are believed to be more than 60 youth gangs in the area, with 1,700 members - some as young as 12.

The aim is to arrest the hardcore while offering those on the periphery a way out.

A dedicated prosecutor deals with Operation Tag cases.

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