A JOINT initiative to improve public safety in Stirling city centre is continuing to deliver positive results following its rollout over the festive period.

Operation Steadfast Festive, led by Stirling Council and Police Scotland, had a number of aims including deterring and detecting anti-social behaviour, protecting vulnerable people from harm and offering personal safety and crime prevention advice.

Cllr Maureen Bennison, convener of Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee, said: “This positive partnership between the Council, Police Scotland and other agencies is continuing to enhance safety in the city centre.

“It’s pleasing to see Operation Steadfast deliver further positive results over the festive period, particularly in the reduction of assaults, and I would like to thank everyone involved in all the safety schemes for their hard work, dedication and professionalism.”

During the latest instalment of the operation, both organisations maintained a high-visibility presence in the city centre with support from the Council’s Safe Base and Youth Participation teams, along with the Street Pastors and Taxi Marshalls.

Notably, assaults fell by seven from 19 last year to 12, more than a third of targeted stop and searches proved successful and only two crimes were reported on Friars Street, an area with previous issues of anti-social behaviour.

Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, Local Area Commander for Stirling, said: "The purpose of Operation Steadfast is for police and partners at Stirling Council to provide a visible and reassuring presence within the city centre during busy periods so that together we can deter criminal activity, or respond to any such incidents that arise.

 “What is really pleasing to see, though, is that the number of assaults, which occurred during Operation Steadfast Festive 2019, fell from 2018. Furthermore, Friars Street, which has previously been a problematic area of the city centre, only saw two low-level crimes occur.”

Police also reported positive feedback from members of the public and business owners on the improvements delivered by the initiative.