Falkirk aims for safe streets all year round

Councillor Allyson Black has been on Safe Base patrols in her role as a Street Pastor
Councillor Allyson Black has been on Safe Base patrols in her role as a Street Pastor

A street safety initiative which normally runs over the festive period could become an all-year-round boost for Falkirk.

The Safe Zone, or Safe Base as it is also known, has been a postive addition to the town centre since it began in December 2009 with the aim of offering advice, support and shelter to revellers who find themselves in a vulnerable condition.

Now a trial expanison of the service is planned to include dates when the town centre is much busier than normal.

The first of these Safe Zone dates will take place this Saturday and then Saturday, May 31, both of them nights which follow monthly paydays.

Councillor Jim Blackwood, Falkirk Council public protection spokesperson, has supported the Safe Zone initiative since it began. He said: “Over the last few years the Safer Streets partnership has helped make the town centre safer and more enjoyable for businesses, partygoers and the wider community.

“By expanding the Safe Zone to cover busy weekends outwith the festive period, we can reassure businesses and the public we will be on hand to deal with any incidents safely and effectively all year round.”

The Safe Zone has been viewed as a great success by those who rely on the night-time economy to make their money.

City and Sportsters manager Andrew McKinnie said: “The Safe Zone scheme is an excellent project, assisting vulnerable people in Falkirk town centre.

“It gives peace of mind and reassurance to staff and customers, so it will be a great benefit to the town centre if this is now going to run on key weekends throughout the year and not just at Christmas and New Year.”