Police in Perth have promised an increased presence during the festive season to help maintain its reputation as a safe place to visit.
As part of a community safety partnership initiative to protect the public, there will also be more street pastors, taxi marshalls, community wardens and parking attendants visible on the city’s streets.
This year, for the first time, the safer communities team will be working with Giraffe, the area’s first community interest company, to provide a multi-agency night-time base at its Mill Street Caf in Perth.
James Alexander, partnership manager for Giraffe, said: “Our caf is right in the centre of the town, close to the pubs, clubs and restaurants.
“When the team asked if I could help by providing facilities for the taxi marshalls, I was happy to help and I am delighted that the police and wardens will be able to use it, too.
“We will have a look at how things have gone after the festive period and see if there is the possibility of further opportunities to work together in the future.”
Perth and Kinross Council’s community safety committee convener Douglas Pover added: “We want to make sure that everyone enjoys themselves and stays safe over the festive season.
“Working closely with the police and other agencies, our community safety wardens will be conducting frequent high- visibility patrols.”
He continued: “Perth is a vibrant city, especially during our winter festival. Many people will be heading into the city centre for Christmas nights out, as well as for their Christmas shopping.
“I would urge revellers to act responsibly and shoppers to keep a close eye on their new purchases. Busy areas within the city centre will be targeted by dedicated police patrols to deter criminal activity and to address any issues that arise.”
Police Superintendent Roddy Irvine, who leads on operational policing for the Tayside area, was also enthusiastic about the plan.
He said: “A big part of local policing at this time of the year is about making sure that local people are confident about going out in the city centre and knowing that there are people who will look out for them.
“We hope that the full range of police powers won’t be required at any stage during this festive season and that our time will be spent working with people on the streets of Perth to make sure they have a good Christmas and New Year and can get home safely.
“Our on-duty officers will appreciate having the use of Giraffe’s caf to make a warming cup of coffee during the night and it will be an excellent venue to talk to and support the other agencies.”