Ten year city centre partnership continues to provide improved public safety
A multi-agency city centre partnership continues to provide public reassurance and enhanced community safety in Inverness for locals and visitors.
‘Operation Respect’, is a highly successful Inverness Community Safety Partnership initiative which has helped to promote a safer and cleaner city centre for the past decade.
Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael commended another productive year of the Operation Respect partnership, she said:
“I would like to thank all the partners for their continued support in this great partnership that we have in Inverness. By coming together we can achieve so much more as a collective force to protect the public. Operation Respect is enhancing the economic vibrancy of the Inverness city centre, making it a safer place for people to go about their daily lives and business. Its impact helps everyone who lives and works in, or visits our Highland capital.”
Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee were updated by Chief Inspector Colin Gough, Inverness Area Commander for Police Scotland on the programme’s progress during the winter festive period in a report from the main partners: Police Scotland, Highland Council, NHS Highland, Inverness Business Improvement District (BID), British Red Cross / Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), Crimestoppers, Inverness Street Pastors and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Inspector Gough said: “Through the Inverness Community Safety Partnership, Operation Respect has been running for 10 years and we now need to take stock and review our plans to find a sustainable way of moving forward with Operation Respect.”
Police Scotland’s evaluation highlighted that Operation Respect ‘actively increased public reassurance and enhanced community safety within the city centre’.
A Security Task Team (managed by Inverness BID and funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund) demonstrated that highly visible intervention and partnership working actively discourages anti-social behaviour, shop lifting, noise and disturbance; and on-street drug dealing.
A Taxi Marshall Service also provided by Inverness BID and funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund made users feel safer and helped to avoid or the escalation of anti-social behaviour incidents.
Safe Zones funded by NHS Highland in conjunction with the British Red Cross and linked to the Scottish Ambulance Services provided and base within the city centre for early intervention to assist with accident and incident casualties.
Street Pastors continued to provide a valuable service diffusing potential incidents, by providing flip-slops, hot drinks, food and support, picking up broken glass and providing a calming influence in the city centre.
Promotion of the programme and educating the public about Operation Respect has been supported by Crime Stoppers.