Highland one of the safest places to drink in the country, says top cop

1/10/19:Story and photograph courtesy of Press and Journal www.pressandjournal.co.uk

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone.

Highland is one of the safest places to drink in Scotland, according to national police boss Iain Livingstone.

In his Chief Constable’s report for the past year, Mr Livingstone said there is ‘little doubt’ the Pub Watch scheme in the region has been instrumental in reducing and maintaining low levels of crime and disorder around pubs, along with excellent partnership working and professional security staff and stewarding.

Between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019 there were a total of 82 offences across 1,279 licensed premises in the Highland area.

Of these, 48 were people refusing to leave the premises, 21 committing disorderly conduct, 10 selling alcohol to under 18s and three drunk and attempting to enter a pub.

Mr Livingstone said Highlands and Islands division used a community-based approach to police the vast and at times remote area.

He said: “Local police officers know the licensed premises in their patch and rely on good interaction with licensees, staff, patrons and the wider public to adopt a suitable approach to licensing matters.”

Outgoing Highland Licensing Board convener councillor Ian Cockburn said: “Most areas in Scotland would be dying for figures like this.”

Councillor Liz MacDonald, who was later appointed convener replacing Mr Cockburn, said: “There’s no evidence to suggest there’s an issue with children or young people illegally purchasing alcohol, which is a really good thing.”