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Police Advice On Staying Safe Over The Festive Period

14th December 2013

Police in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross offer advice to help keep people safe during the festive period.

A successful festive multi-agency partnership run previously just in the Inverness area, known as Operation Respect, has expanded to become a targeted partnership initiative across the Highlands and Islands which now includes the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross area.

Operation Respect's key messages will centre on the operational objectives, safety messages and the enhanced benefits created by effective partnership working. From a local policing perspective it will involve increased police patrols in and around town centres, both in uniform and plain clothes, to provide reassurance and ensure a safe environment for people to enjoy their festive celebrations.

Police in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross look forward to the revelry and good natured spirit that Christmas and New Year brings to the people and visitors of the area, year after year.

However, police are also aware that the season can also increase the possibilities for the opportunist criminal as well as a small minority who become involved in alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violence.

Area Commander for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Chief Inspector Garry Cameron said: "We are looking forward to this year's festive season and would like to take this opportunity to assure the communities and visitors to this area that we, along with our Special Constables, Community Wardens, Street Pastors, shop keepers and local licensees, will be working hard to keep people safe during this time.

"Sadly in recent years, our officers have had to come to the assistance of people who are drunk, disorientated and separated from their friends. In that condition and in the winter weather, they can become increasingly vulnerable.

"I would encourage those that will be out and about in our area to party safe and shop safe and, if you are out and about with friends, look out for them and don't become separated from them."

Chief Inspector Cameron added: "With this in mind, I wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

Please use the following simple safety rules when you're partying or shopping during the coming festive period:

Party Safely

Plan ahead for your night out
Stay together look out for yourself and friends
Watch your drinks and how much you drink
Keep bags, phone and valuables with you at all times
Make sure your phone is charged, you have money to get home and look after your keys
Use a licensed taxi, public transport or arrange a lift
Shop Safely

Look after your bags and valuables when shopping
Do not withdraw more money than you need
Put your money in your wallet/bag before leaving ATM
Hide your PIN number
Don't leave gifts in cars or in plain sight at home
Close and lock all doors and windows and leave some lights on when you go out
Police will throughout the festive period issue messages using the Police Scotland social media via Twitter and Facebook. You can follow Police Scotland on Twitter [AT]PoliceScotland and on Facebook at

You can also find updates relevant to the Caithness and Sutherland Area on the Highland and Islands Divisional Facebook page and on Twitter via [AT]CaithSuthPol

The latest information can also be found on the Police Scotland website

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