Committee endorses work of Inverness community safety project
The effectiveness of a joint multi-agency initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour and keep people safe has been endorsed by Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.
The Inverness Community Safety Partnership was formed in January 2011 with the aim of overseeing the activity of Community Safety initiatives across the city. It’s mission statement is ‘Working in partnership, to create an environment where our communities and visitors will remain safe and reassured” and key to this has been the launch of Operation Respect – first as an evening project over the winter months but now expanded into the summer season and daytime hours.
The partners now involved include;
· Highland Council
· Police Scotland
· N.H.S Highland
· Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
· Inverness Business Improvement District (BID)
· Inverness Drug and Alcohol Forum
· Apex Highland
· Inverness Street Pastors
· Highland Crimestoppers
The Partnership has also developed links with the Scottish Prison Service, Signpost Highland, Eden Court and New Start Highland.
In a report presented to todays (Thursday 31 May) Committee, Councillors had the opportunity to review the work of the Partnership during 2017 and hear more about their plans for expanding areas of work over the coming year. This includes providing support to more Third Sector organisations such as Inverness Foodstuffs and to New Start Highland initiatives and projects with particular emphasis on addressing poverty and inequality. Other key areas of activity include a review of its strategic objectives and action planning to better alignment with the current Highland Community Planning Partnership Board and the potential to improve monitoring arrangements once a review of CCTV now underway is completed.
Inverness area commander Chief Inspector Colin Gough said: "We firmly believe that various agencies from the local authority, emergency services, health service business community and third sector working in tandem is the best way to ensure that Inverness continues to be a safe and welcoming city into the future.
"Operation Respect continues to be a good example of partnership working in action and continues to make a real difference to the lives of people who live in Inverness and visit the city.
"In the past year we have increased the number of officer based permanently in the city centre which will continue, while a dedicated team of local specialist officers operate throughout the city.
"We are pleased to continue play our part in the Inverness Community Safety Partnership."
The Council’s representative on the Partnership, Councillor Janet Campbell acts as a key link between the community and the partnership in passing comment and feedback. She said: “The Community Safety Partnership continues to promote Inverness as a welcoming and safe city. When it comes to Operation Respect I strongly believe that early intervention is key to its success as it allows for potential issues to be addressed before they become incidents. I would like to praise the work of the whole team as feedback from the public and businesses has been very supportive and positive.
She added: “I am particularly pleased that Operation Respect has been expanded to include the summer season and daytime hours which will help to ensure that Inverness’s reputation as a safe and welcoming City is reinforced for the many visitors to the Highland’s Capital.”
Provost Helen Carmichael added: “It is very encouraging to see Operation Respect evolve and still be delivering results as we all share the goal of wanting to keep people and communities safe. The successful rollout of Operation Respect to include the summer months and daytime hours couldn't have happened without the full support and co-operation of all partner agencies involved so I want to add my thanks and look forward on building on the positive work already achieved.”