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Operation Respect is launched in the city centre for the 4th Year Running

POLICE and partners today (02 December 2011) joined forces to launch Operation Respect which BID is a key player in organising the Security Task Team and Taxi Marshalls.  The initiative is aimed at creating a safer and cleaner Inverness for people, families and businesses over the festive period.

The initiative, which is co-ordinated by the Inverness Community Safety Partnership, is now in its fourth year and will see increased police patrols, taxi marshals, Security Task Team, British Red Cross patrols and Street Pastors working together during December.

In conjunction with Stagecoach, and building on the success of last year, the operation will again be providing a low-cost 'Night Bus' service, which begins tonight (02 December 2011). The service will run every Friday and Saturday night between 1130pm and 4am until 23 December and then again on Friday 30 December 2011. The buses will leave from Queensgate and go to Smithton, Culloden, Balloch, Westhill, Kinmylies, Hilton and Merkinch.

A number of businesses and organisations are involved in the preparation for Operation Respect including, Highland Council, Crimestoppers, Inverness Crime Prevention Panel (ICPP), Inverness Business Improvement District (BID), Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), British Red Cross, Inverness Taxi Association, Pubwatch, Street Pastors and Northern Constabulary.

Jim Ferguson, Inverness Community Safety Partnership chairman, said:“The Inverness Community Safety Partnership is delighted to lead on Operation Respect with our partners to help engender respect across the city. The Partnership has been working hard on many issues relating to community safety and we would like everyone to enjoy the festivities and to remember to stay safe while looking after each other.”

Taking the leading for Northern Constabulary is Inspector Stephen Davren. He said: "Operation Respect has been running for several years now and is a good example of what can be achieved through effective partnership working. Northern Constabulary is committed to ensuring that people can shop or enjoy a night out in an environment that is safe and crime free. During the festive period we have increased officer patrols to provide public reassurance, deter crime and robustly deal with those who are breaking the law. These patrols will be targeted at peak shopping and socialising times.

“The ‘Night bus’ service worked well last year and is another option for people travelling home after a night out. Those involved in Operation Respect are committed to its success, but I would also like to stress the personal responsibility of the public during this time. By doing simple things such as planning your journeys, looking after your friends, and drinking responsibly, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable time in the Highland's capital.”

Mike Smith, manager of the Inverness Business Improvement District, commented: “Inverness Business Improvement District is delighted to be an integral part of Operation Respect. We believe that the deployment of the Security Task Team and Taxi Marshals contribute to our commitment to maintain a safe and secure City Centre for customers, staff and visitors to Inverness in which business can thrive.”

Depute Provost, and Highland Licensing Board Chairman, Councillor Peter Corbett said: “I am delighted to see Operation Respect in the city centre again this year. During the festive period people want to enjoy themselves and to do it safely and return home safely. Operation Respect will deliver that.”

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