Festive Safety: Police initiative returns in Inverness to tackle issues such as safety of lone women during winter

A long-running police initiative is to return, encouraging people to enjoy the festive period safely in Inverness city centre.

Festive Safety Initiative 2021 has been launched by Police Scotland to tackle issues such as the safety of lone females, anti-social behaviour, retail crime, substance misuse and other associated criminality.
Festive Safety Initiative 2021 has been launched by Police Scotland to tackle issues such as the safety of lone females, anti-social behaviour, retail crime, substance misuse and other associated criminality.

Operation Respect is the Police Scotland initiative in Inverness aimed at ensuring the safety of vulnerable people and tackling issues such as the safety of lone females, anti-social behaviour, retail crime, substance misuse and other associated criminality.

It is expected that other police divisions across Scotland will promote a similar safety message in the run up to Christmas and Hogmanay.

The initiative comes as women and others across Scotland and the rest of the UK were moved by the tragic and horrific murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in March 2021.

Ms Everard was walking home alone one night in London when she was kidnapped, raped and murdered.

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Throughout the month, Police Scotland said there will be high visibility patrols in Inverness city centre in the daytime with the provision of a Mobile Police Office during peak times during the evenings.

The police say the action is to provide reassurance and a point of contact to shoppers and revellers.

Police Scotland is supported in this by various partners, including Inverness BID, Highland Council, the British Red Cross and Inverness Street Pastors.

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Inspector Brian Bisset, of the Inverness Community Policing Team said: "We are delighted to continue our work with key partners to ensure that Inverness and the wider region offers a safe and welcoming environment over the festive period.

"Our key priorities during this time will be keeping people safe by enhancing our presence with both a static point of contact, in addition to our traditional foot patrolling, where we will continue to provide a safe environment, prevent and reduce violent crime, anti-social behaviour and retail crime.

“We will provide highly visible patrols in Inverness city centre throughout the period with partners to ensure the area is a safe place to visit, shop and celebrate.

"As well as the resources we have in place with our partners, we need the support of the public who can help keep themselves and others safe by taking responsibility for their own actions and looking out for their friends.

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"From a policing perspective be rest assured we will be doing everything we can to ensure the minority does not spoil it for others."

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