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Operation Respect 2023

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Community safety and economic prosperity are once again at the heart of an annual, multi-agency initiative, Operation Respect, which was launched in Inverness.

Operation Respect has been running for several years now and is aimed at ensuring Inverness city centre remains a safe place to live, work and visit over the festive season.

The formal launch of the 2023 initiative took place on the banks of the River Ness, against the backdrop of Inverness Castle.

Operation Respect is led by Police Scotland, with support from several agencies and local voluntary partners.

The agencies combine their specialisms to tackle and prevent anti-social behaviour, disorder, retail crime and other forms of criminality.

It’s also designed to provide help to vulnerable people – whether that is as a result of mental health concerns, alcohol or substance abuse – and allows a safe environment and pastoral care to anyone in need.

Leader of Inverness and Area, Councillor Ian Brown, attended the launch and said he warmly welcomed the return of Operation Respect to the Highland Capital.

He said:

“Through the Inverness Common Good Fund, Highland Council is delighted to be supporting Operation Respect once again.

“Its multi-agency partnership approach is geared towards keeping the city centre safe at one of the busiest times of year.

“Operation Respect provides reassurance to businesses and shoppers and aims to ensure a prospering economy, as well as create a friendly and welcoming environment to visit and shop.”

Inspector David McAlpine said:

“We are once again preparing for a busy festive period.

“We are delighted to be working alongside partner agencies to keep people safe over the festive period in Inverness. 

“We aim to ensure everyone has a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.”

Operation Respect partners actively engage in proactive measures to ensure that the city is a safe place to be, whether you live and work in the city, a visiting group enjoying our hospitality, or simply a lone person walking home at night.

While Operation Respect is led by Police Scotland’s Inverness area command, it is very much a partnership between organisations dedicated to providing expertise in multiple areas, contributing towards the wellbeing of those in our community.

The combined efforts of those involved have enabled the partnership to provide various strands of support, including trained first aid teams walking within the city centre, high-visibility policing, support from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service support as well as mental health practitioners on mobile patrols who can respond to those in crisis. 

There is also immediate access to pastoral care, a heightened level of stewarding within the city and, Police Scotland’s welfare unit will provide a safe place to sit and wait for your transport home.

Operation Respect today, Friday 1 December and runs every Friday and Saturday until the last Saturday evening of the year- Saturday, 30 December. 

Participants in this year’s festive campaign are: Police Scotland, Highland Council, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Highland, Inverness BID, Highland Third Sector Interface, Highland Drug & Alcohol Partnership, Street Pastors, Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT Highland), Criminal Justice Partnership and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

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