Additional police resources ready to be deployed in Inverness city centre
Issued by Police Scotland
Police officers spent at least 500 hours - equivalent to more than 20 entire days - on patrol in the centre of Inverness over the month of September to combat crime and provide public reassurance.
Officers from a variety of divisional and support units have been utilised in the city centre - with the local community beats team carrying out the largest amount of hours. Support has also come from the divisional Flexible Policing team and officers from the Operational Support Unit.
As well as spending time on routine patrol providing a deterrent against crime and anti-social behaviour, officers have also tackled a large number of incidents reported in the city centre. The most frequently raised concerns have included shoplifting, alcohol and drug related activity, anti-social behaviour and disorder. Of all crimes reported in the city centre during September, 83% have already been detected with enquiries ongoing in several other instances.
The police presence in Inverness city centre will increase in the coming months, with additional resources identified to double the number of officers permanently based in the beat.
Inverness area commander Chief Inspector Colin Gough said: "We are acutely aware of the importance of the city centre to Inverness and the rest of the Highlands.
"High visibility policing will continue in the area and additional resources have now been identified for realignment into the city centre and they will be embedded later this month.
"This will mean there is eight community beat officers based in the city centre to provide reassurance and to tackle any issues which may arise. This team will be supported by a City Centre Sergeant overseeing daily tasking and delivery of police business.
"I'm confident that this will be a sustainable model which will make a substantive difference to the city centre.
"I cannot overstate how important it is for Police Scotland to work in partnership with the public, the Highland Council, the business community and many others who have an active interest to deliver longer term sustainable solutions to address the issues impacting on the city centre."
Provost and leader of Inverness Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “Over the last few weeks agencies have worked collaboratively in support of the police action aimed at addressing the recent incidents of anti-social behaviour in the city centre.
"The facts confirm the commitment of the police, the council and partners who will continue to collaborate to further reduce incidents and enhance the existing reputation of Inverness as a safe place to live and work.”
Peter Strachan, chairman of Inverness BID, said: "I welcome the significant step up in activity from Police Scotland in Inverness city centre.
"Businesses have been voicing their concern for some time about the level of anti-social behaviour in our city and it's reassuring to see some positive results in combatting this.
"BID will continue to work in collaboration with Police Scotland, Highland Council and the other agencies to make sure Inverness has a vibrant, attractive and city centre."