City Partners Launch Safety Measures for Stirling’s Festive Season

Stirling’s publicans and city partners have launched a new campaign to ensure night-time visitors enjoy a safe festive season.

The city’s Pubwatch group, supported and administered by Go Forth Stirling BID, have joined forces with the police and other partners to support revellers throughout the busy Christmas and new year period. `Safe haven’ initiative Safebase will be in place for anyone who needs help or support this Friday December 23 and on Hogmanay – Saturday December 31.

And Stirling Street Pastors will be patrolling city centre streets to offer assistance and look out for anyone who finds themselves in a vulnerable situation. Meanwhile, Police Scotland are running Operation Steadfast – a dedicated foot patrol operation focusing on Stirling city centre over the festive period and up until January 8.

PC Neil Hunter and PC Stuart Gray, from Stirling Community Policing Team, will also have a mobile Police office vehicle on the Port Street pedestrianised area on December 21 and 22. They plan to engage with the public and issue advice on personal safety and crime prevention as well as raising awareness of what partnership organisations are offering.

Stirling’s Pubwatch group, which includes managers of the majority of the city’s licensed premises, met with the Go Forth team, community police officers, Street pastors and members of Safebase to discuss safety measures.

Members of Pubwatch – which is chaired by Dave Thompson, General Manager at the Fubar, and Neil Campbell, Manager at the Kilted Kangaroo, – shared information on issues they’ve encountered with patrons and agreed to impose banning orders on a handful of troublemakers.

The organisation’s motto – “Banned from one – Banned from all’ – means the minority of people who cause trouble in any one of Stirling’s licensed premises face being barred from all Pubwatch pubs for a year. The aim is to deter and prevent troublemakers from creating an unpleasant environment for customers and staff.

Publicans also continue to share information and photographs with each other and with the police via a fully digitised and secure communications system funded by Go Forth.

The BID secured 15 radios for pub owners and volunteers from Safebase and Stirling Street Pastors last year. Pubwatch co-chair Neil Campbell said: “We are all working together to make the city a safe place for everyone to come in and enjoy the festive season. It’s our responsibility as publicans to make sure we do everything we can to ensure people have a good time and feel safe and secure in Stirling. We are proactive in sharing relevant information between premises and we act quickly to bar the small minority of troublemakers from city centre premises.

Go Forth Stirling Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “Stirling is a fantastic place to come for an evening out during the festive season and our partnership is all about making sure there’s a raft of measures in place to ensure a safe environment and provide help should anyone be vulnerable. The radios give venues the capability to work together in a quick and secure fashion which helps make our city as safe as possible and builds confidence in Stirling’s night-time economy.

We are also pleased to be a partner on the fantastic Safebase initiative supporting the work of the volunteers who go out in cold weather to provide a safety net for anyone who needs it.”

Safebase provides a safe environment for anyone visiting the city at night and includes volunteer-led first aid patrols and an area for people to shelter if they have been stranded due to injury, incapacity or missing transport home.

They will be operating from around 8.30pm on December 23 and Hogmanay until around 4am the following morning with the ‘safe haven’ located at the Service Entrance of the Thistles on Goosecroft Road. The volunteers will also be supported by Stirling Street Pastors who will be on patrol in the city centre.

Richard Mclennan, chair of Safebase Scotland, said: “We aim to create a safer experience for people enjoying the festive season in Stirling and our team can help with a variety of situations – for example if people are lost or need help to find a taxi home. They can also carry out first aid and provide mental health support by giving people the space to come and chat for a while and somewhere warm to wait if they’ve missed the last bus home.”

For more information about Safebase Scotland, visit www.safebasescotland.org

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