The latest phase of a city centre safety project from Stirling Council and Police Scotland has been launched.
Operation Steadfast - Councillor Bennison

Operation Steadfast Festive rolls out today (Friday, November 30) following successful runs in the summer and during Fresher’s Week.

The initiative, which sees Stirling's local policing team working closely with Stirling Council, is aimed at reducing and preventing a range of issues such as acquisitive crime, violence and antisocial behaviour, as well as keeping those within the city centre safe.

Between Friday 30th November and Wednesday 2nd January, officers will have a high-visibility presence within the city centre to engage with the public, offer crime prevention and personal safety information and address any issues which may arise.

In addition, a mobile Police Station will be situated within the pedestrian precinct of Murray Place, near to junction with King Street. The mobile unit will also be moved to either Friars Street or Murray Place at various points throughout the month.

Supporting the increased police resource will be colleagues from Stirling Council's Safebase scheme, which provides assistance to those who find themselves in a vulnerable position during a night out.

Taxi Marshalls will also be provided by the council to staff taxi ranks at busy city centre locations during key times, while Street Pastors and the Youth Team will also be out and about to help address the various issues that can occur when alcohol is being consumed.

Councillor Maureen Bennison, convenor of Stirling’s Public Safety Committee, said: “Operation Steadfast has proven its worth since its initial launch in the summer and helps bring together a broad network of partners to share their knowledge and expertise in keeping people safe.

“Stirling really thrives at Christmas with people coming from all over to take in the sights and activities going on throughout the festive period here.

“Their safety and the safety of all our residents and traders is always a priority and Operation Steadfast is a great way to pull our resources together to make sure that remains the case.”

Chief Inspector Gill Boulton, Local Area Commander for Stirling, said: “Our initial trial of Operation Steadfast in the summer was incredibly successful and was followed by another positive outing during the Fresher’s Week in September. We now aim for similar success as Steadfast relaunches for the festive season.

“Over the coming month, local officers and our key partners will be undertaking high visibility patrols within Stirling city centre to ensure that those enjoying the shopping outlets and night time economy can do so safely. We are also committed to keeping those who work within the retail and licensed premises safe during this campaign.

“Our mobile Police Station allows us to be in the very heart of the city centre and it can and will be moved around so we can have appropriate resources in place whenever and wherever they are required.

“This facility will also be stocked with useful crime prevention and personal safety information, as well as the drinking bottle caps, which prevent spiking.

“The positive reaction we received to previous Operation Steadfast initiatives was as much down to the work of our partners as it was to proactive policing and, once again, they are going to play a vital role in keeping the public safe within the city centre over Christmas and New Year.

“I'd like to thank all of those who will be involved for their continued support and look forward to another really successful campaign.”