Chief Constable’s annual report highlights success of joint approach

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The partnership between Police Scotland, Falkirk Council Licensing Board, and the town’s pub and club owners is keeping our communities safe.

As the festive party season approaches, Chief Constable Philip Gormey QPM, has said in his annual report that the ‘working together’ approach is producing results, while Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong confirmed: “Instances of violent crime and alcohol misuse, particularly at night, has reduced. We have to be delighted with the positive interaction that is on-going. Everyone is working hard to keep Falkirk safe.

“Premises that were causing concern were monitored and still operating because of the co-operation of all concerned. We have seen a reduction in the number of young people drinking alcohol in the streets which is encouraging, and from supermarkets to mini markets, everyone is working to ensure there are no under age sales which is another positive in what has been a very positive year.”

The chief inspector said his officers will continue to take a pro-active approach and routine checks of licensed premises will continue.

The licensing board area policed by the Falkirk Area Command covers 112 square miles.

Falkirk Town Centre has a vibrant and busy night time economy with three nightclubs and 18 bars within a one mile radius placing demands on local police resources which can be intensive at weekends and, on occasion, can lead to alcohol related violence and disorder.

Alcohol is very often to blame when officers respond to calls involving low level anti-social behaviour to domestic abuse and incidents of serious violence and injury. In the year covered by his report, of the 1913 cases of violent crime recorded within the Falkirk area, 619 or 32.4 per cent of those responsible were drunk or under the influence of alcohol. There were also 1652 cases of disorder reported over the 12 months, and 776 or 47 per cent of the accused were drunk or under the influence.

In the year under review, there were 148 recorded offences involving violent crime or disorder committed on licenced premises and 135 or 91.2 per cent of those responsible were described as drunk or under the influence of alcohol.

Forth Valley Licensing Department works with the Falkirk Community Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit, the council’s licensing standards officers, town centre management team Falkirk Delivers, premises licence holders and designated managers.

Chief Constable Gormley said: “Over the last year the active partnerships which exist across the licensing sector have led to an increase in positive outcomes. In the year ahead our approach will continue to be based on prevention and collaboration to ensure the most efficient and effective service delivery. Officers and staff will be encouraged to use the range of options available to ensure improved licensing standards, reduced violence and to positively influence behaviour and attitudes.”