Highland communities continue to feel safe
Highland communities continue to view their neighbourhood as a safe place to live. A Highland Council attitudes survey has revealed that 96.8% of respondents view the area within 15 minutes’ walk from their home as very or fairly safe.
Every year the Council surveys members of its Citizen’s Panel, which is designed to be representative of the adult population. This year 1,021 respondents of a possible 2,346 replied to the survey which included a number of questions on community safety concerns, fear of crime, precaution against crime and perception of safety in the local area.
The Citizen’s Panel survey revealed residents’ top concerns as road safety, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and antisocial behaviour.
Chair of Communities and Partnership Committee, Cllr Hamish Fraser said: “It is reassuring to see that the vast majority of people feel very safe where they live right across the Highlands. We must not be complacent however, where there are a very small minority of people who tell us they don’t feel safe. We need to understand what else can be done in those communities.
“We have heard about the excellent work being done to reduce antisocial behaviour in Inverness and to reduce casualties on Highland roads and initiatives such as these by the Council and our partners are vital in keeping the Highlands as safe a place as possible.”
The Highlands continues to be one of the safest places to live in the UK, but the survey shows that perceptions of safety and crime can be very different from the reality.
Divisional Commander Julian Innes responded to the report saying: “I'm delighted local people continue to feel safe across our Highland communities - they are right to enjoy living in one of the safest parts of the county. I’m in no doubt that improved partnership working, in addition to communicating closely with local people to identify the issues that matter to them, is key to local policing and keeping people safe.
"Successful multi-agency initiatives such as the Inverness Response Team and Operation Respect, which focus on anti-social behaviour and disorder, have helped tackle the very issues that have the potential to disrupt local communities.
"We will continue to build on these good working practices to help ensure everyone in the Highlands feels safe and secure wherever they live.”