Crime-fighting drones will hover over the Links Market in Kirkcaldy this week in a first for the street fair in its 700-year history.
Police officers are preparing for the event to get underway on Wednesday with thousands expected to flock to the Fife town.
Excitement for the street fair, the longest of its kind in Europe, is already building as ride and stall operators arrive on Kirkcaldy Esplanade to begin setting up.
It comes after coronavirus forced the Links Market to be cancelled for two years running, one of the longest periods in its history.
Asked about preparations for the market, Inspector Scott Oliver told The Courier that drones would be used to help officers for the first time at the event.
“During the event officers will be deployed on dedicated foot and bicycle patrols and will be assisted for the first time by Police Scotland drone operators,” he explains.
It’s not the first time police drones have been deployed in Scotland, with the technology used recently in Dundee to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Insp Oliver also says the force has been working alongside the Showmen’s Guild, who organise the Links Market, as well as Fife Council to prepare.
He adds: “Police Scotland will work together with all partners involved in the delivery of Links Market to provide a safe and secure event for all those attending.
“As such, we would encourage anyone thinking about coming to Links Market to behave in a responsible manner for the enjoyment of other attendees and to ensure the event has a successful return to Kirkcaldy.”
The six-day event has previously attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Kirkcaldy, but police say relatively little trouble is caused as a result.
In 2018, police praised the public for a “good natured” Links Market, revealing there had been only one arrest involving an 18-year-man who had breached bail conditions.
Welcoming the fun fair back to Kirkcaldy, local councillor Judy Hamilton said on Monday she was excited for the return of “fun and colour”.
“This is a good time for us all to get back together after so long. It brings a lot of people to the town, and after two years of Covid-19 it will bring music, laughter, fun and colour to brighten up the town,” she said.
The Links Market opens between 2-10pm on Wednesday and will then operate between 1-10pm daily from Thursday until Monday April 18.