Police in Tayside have launched a new initiative to ensure local business and taxi operators are up to scratch before revellers descend on town centres for the busy festive period.
Officers were out in force in Dundee yesterday for the first day of Operation Respectful, a scheme that will involve visits to local licensed premises, including off-sales, pubs and clubs, to remind staff of their responsibilities.
They will also be out speaking to members of the public and encouraging them to look after friends and family as they celebrate the festivities at locations across the city and wider Tayside area.
The operation forms part of an effort by the force’s divisional licencing team, along with partners from HMRC, Trading Standards and Home Office Immigration Enforcement, to provide a high visibility presence throughout the region over the next six weeks.
Officers also began the process of carrying out inspections of taxis to ensure they comply with local standards and are safe to use by working with drivers at the city’s Nethergate rank.
They will also be visiting towns in Perth and Kinross and Angus.
Sergeant Ryan MacDonald, who is organising Operation Respectful, said: “What we’re doing is reminding licence holders of their responsibilities as they work with the public, whether its in pubs and clubs or driving people around the town.
“Historically, the city centre will get busier at this time of year with Christmas nights out and with things like the V&A, we expect more visitors to the city this year, so demand will increase.
“We’ve come down now because this gives us a good six weeks in the run-up. We have hundreds of licensed premises and taxis across the three local authority areas, so it gives us plenty time to get around and get the message out to as many people as we can.
“The response has been really good. By doing operations like this we remind the public that we are looking out for their safety and we remind licence holders that we’re willing to come out and make sure they’re offering a safe service.”
Taxi driver Raymond Noble, 59, had his car and details checked as part of the scheme. He said he had no objections to the process if it makes sure everything is in order.
Mr Noble, who has been in the profession for 13 years, said: “I think it’s a good thing that police are out doing this actually, vehicles have got to be up to spec, that’s the rules and I passed so I’m happy with that.”