Police Scotland say that they took their ‘Safer Streets’ campaign out onto the streets of Elgin, Buckie and Forres last week, with additional patrols deployed in the final weekend before Christmas.
The highly visible police presence saw regular officers being joined by special constables who had between them volunteered for over 100 hours on duty.
Inspector Rob Struton from the Aberdeenshire and Moray Division’s Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit said: “The majority of party-goers enjoyed themselves safely and responsibly throughout the weekend and we are encouraging people to continue to be aware of safety and security advice over the Christmas and New Year period.
“Licenced premises are expected to remain busy over the coming days and our partnership working approach continues to ensure that Aberdeenshire and Moray is a safe place to enjoy the festive season.
“It is encouraging that there was low levels of violence reported over the last weekend and we will have high-visibility patrols out throughout the festive period to deter and detect those involved in violence.”
The force are now encouraging last-minute Christmas shoppers today and those who will take to the High Streets for the traditional Boxing Day sales to consider their personal safety when doing so.
As well as those heading for sales in Moray’s major towns many are expected to travel to Aberdeen and Inverness for the Sales.
Sergeant Vicky Stables said: “It is expected that Aberdeen city centre and shopping hubs in the area will be busier than normal with people preparing for Christmas or looking for a bargain when the sales start.
“We want to ensure people have a great time and enjoy this special time of year but most importantly stay safe.
“Unfortunately there are those who exploit the festive period for the wrong reasons and we would encourage you to take a moment to think about the simple preventative measures you can take to discourage criminals and to stay safe.”
Tips issued by Aberdeenshire and Moray Division include:
- Use cash machines in well lit, non-secluded areas and stay alert. Check the machine hasn’t been tampered with, hide your PIN, beware of who’s behind you and keep your cash out of view.
- When you’re out Christmas shopping, you might not realise how much all the presents you’re carrying around with you are worth – look after your shopping bags and don’t leave them out your view.
- If you’re driving to the shops, park your car in a busy, well-lit area. Don’t keep any presents you’ve bought in the car for longer than you have to and always keep them out of view.
- Ensure your bag is closed and your purse or wallet is not easily accessible when not being used.