Cops are ramping up patrols and deploying mounted officers in a bid to tackle a vandalism spike in Renfrew after calls for tougher action.

Town councillor Jane Strang and Renfrewshire North and West election candidate Julie Pirone have urged cops to increase their presence in the town centre after finding shopkeepers’ lives have been made “a misery” by a surge in anti-social behaviour.

She insisted there should be further CCTV in the area and more eyes placed on businesses to display a “zero tolerance” approach to loutish antics.

Councillor Strang said: “Residents are desperate to see action taken on these individuals who are making the town centre an unsafe area.

“I am liaising closely with our local officers and the business owners in order to find solutions that will put a stop to Renfrew town centre being a place that is known for anti-social behaviour.”

Conservative candidate Mrs Pirone said: “Shop owners and residents lives are being made a misery by those engaging in this behaviour.

“These shopkeepers are simply trying to keep their businesses afloat and this is the last thing they need. Alongside my colleague Jane Strang, I am keen to see an enhanced CCTV regime put in place to catch those responsible.

“I also hope there can be increased routine police patrols across the town centre in the coming weeks in order to deter anyone thinking of committing these crimes.

“We must have a zero-tolerance attitude towards anti-social behaviour.”

Officers have said they are sending out “high-profile” patrols in the area following a number of incidents that have been highlighted to them.

But cops suspect some vandalism attacks have not been reported and have made an appeal to residents and shopowners to contact them if they have been a victim of anti-social behaviour.

Chief Inspector James Kyle, of Renfrewshire community policing team, said: “We are aware of a number of incidents that have been reported to us in Renfrew town centre and Rannoch Drive area in the last few weeks.

“We are focusing attention in this area and high profile patrols including mounted officers, mobile patrols and increased footfall of community policing officers.

“However, there also appears to be a number of other incidents which may have occurred and haven’t been reported to us directly.

“We continue to work closely with our partners in Renfrewshire Council to take advantage of all opportunities to prevent anti-social behaviour and detect crime.

“I would appeal to any member of the public who is experiencing any issues regards to anti-social behaviour to get in touch with us via 101 or 999 in an emergency.”