Royal Highland Show aims to tackle alcohol issues

Royal Highland Show bosses want to tackle drink-related anti-social behaviour at the event. Picture: Greg Macvean
Royal Highland Show bosses want to tackle drink-related anti-social behaviour at the event. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A code of conduct to ensure proper behaviour in the members’ area, self-­regulation of “kist parties” and a ban on carrying or consuming alcohol around the showground are among a series of measures being introduced to curb drink-related anti-social behaviour at the Royal Highland Show.

The moves – approved by the show’s board this week – are being taken to address a growing number of incidents stemming from the over-consumption of alcohol in recent years – which last year culminated in bar closures and police involvement.

In a move designed to tackle the issue rather than risk the show’s image being tarnished, the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) directors carried out a consultation on the issue with the event’s stakeholders, including Police Scotland, licensees and industry bodies.

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The changes will also see a zoning of the showground to restrict access and possible changes to the licensed premises on the showground to ensure they reflected the “culture and values” of the award-winning event.

RHASS chairman William Gill said the changes would ensure the show remained a world-class event that could be enjoyed by all those who attend.

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He said: “The aim is not in any way to detract from the social aspect of the show, but to moderate the behaviour of a handful of visitors that, if goes unchallenged, has the potential to damage the reputation of RHASS’ flagship event.

“Work now begins on implementing these recommendations, determining what the changes mean in practical terms and communicating RHASS’ code of conduct to visitors.”