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Operation Respect is extended to Merkinch (14/05/09)
Following on from the success of the multi-agency "Operation Respect" in the city centre, the idea is to be rolled out to the community of Merkinch.
The aim of the multi-agency Operation is to make Merkinch a cleaner, safer, better place for everyone who lives and works there. A number of agencies are involved , including the Merkinch Partnership, the Highland Council, Street Pastors and the Police.
Highland Councillor Peter Corbett, Chair of the Merkinch Partnership says: "We are looking for a sustainable solution to the needs of the community in Merkinch. This operation aims to support all members of the community, to reassure people in Merkinch that we are listening to their concerns, and to raise awareness of the need to support facilities such as diversionary activities for young people.
"Everyone shares a responsibility for improving the community from a responsible alcohol sales strategy by licensees, to share their concerns with community councils, to supporting youth projects. There are already a number of diversionary activities for young people during the week, but we are aware that there is a need for more of this type of provision at the weekends."
Anne Sutherland, Merkinch Partnership Project Officer added: "This new initiative will benefit the whole community. A number of people are already doing a lot to support young people in particular in Merkinch and we will be looking for more volunteers or people with new ideas and suggestions. Young people have been given questionnaires to find out what they want.
"As part of the scheme, Street Pastors will be getting to know the whole community in the coming weeks. They will be present on Friday and Saturday evenings along with local police officers, and are very enthusiastic about working with the community in Merkinch. "The steering group will continue to meet and get other partners involved, looking at improved youth development and facilities, transport and better use of amenity space and stronger links with licensed trade."