Priorities for safety in Shire discussed

BUCHAN councillors are set to discuss community safety in Aberdeenshire when they meet in Peterhead later today (Tuesday).

A report to go before today’s meeting will advise and update members of the Buchan area committee on the work which has been carried out to make Aberdeenshire safer and of the activities of the local Community Safety Group operating in the Buchan area.

It will also raise awareness of, and seek comments on, the community safety priorities identified for the next three years.

A Strategic Assessment proecess has been used by the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership for some years and the most recent was a three-year one in order to allow the partnership to plan further ahead.

The assessment contains a number of recommendations and proposes that the ACSP should continue to priorities and and focus resources primarily on violence reduction and prevention, promoting safety and preventing accidents and reducing anti-social behaviour.

Councillors hear that preliminary figures show that excellent progress is being made in relation to wilful fire-raising, accidental house fires, vandalism and noise/neighbour disputes - all at their lowest level in at least three years.

Figures also reveal that good progress is being made in relation to young road users, serious violent crime, youth disorder and underage drinking, with each recording lower than average year-to-date figures.

The ACSP has funded a Fake ID initiative throughout Aberdeenshire, and has part-funded an Alcohol Brief Intervention Project Worker who operates throughout Aberdeenshire.

Dedicated ASB patrols operated in Peterhead during the Easter holiday period which were funded by the ACSP.

Various strategies were employed, inlcuding high visibility foot and cycle patrols, stop/search and, where young people are found under the influence of alcohol, they were offered referral to the ABI Barnardos project workers.

The Winter Safer Streets campaign took place in Peterhead over the festive period in 2011/12 and there were no recorded incidents of serious assault and selected crime reduced by 23%.

The committee will also hear that the Buchan Community Safety Group operates in the Buchan area and over the last year has supported and promoted the Pass Plus initiative.

The group has also assisted and helped to fund the production of a DVD driven forward by the Buchan Alcohol Project, has provided bike lights to the local fishermen’s mission for use of visiting sea men; provided personal alarms for distribution by community wardens and others in the area and has provided cycle helmets for use by pupils taking part in cycling training.

It has also provided funding for the Clean Dog Walking initiative, provided equipment for Street Sports, provided funding for the Mintlaw Music Project and Active Schools project and has been instrumental in bringing the local churches together in order to look at launching a street pastor scheme.

Priorities for the next three years including reducing the number of casualties on our roads and improving the safety and environment of those living in our communities.

Also highlighted is the continuation of indentifying and tackling anti-social behaviour, particularly vandalism, neighbour difficulties and disorder in public places and to continue to identify and tackle problems in communities caused by misuse of alcohol and drugs.