A highly successful safety operation between Police Scotland and Stirling Council has returned to the city centre for a second year.
Operation Steadfast resumed on June 28 and will run throughout until August 18.
The Operation will have similar tactics to last year’s operation, through an increased police presence in the city centre and a mobile police station parked on Friars Street.
Steadfast will involve police officers working with the council’s enforcement officers and other community partners to tackle anti-social behaviour in Stirling.
Both the police and Stirling Council have outlined the aims of this summer’s operation as reducing, proxy sales of alcohol, crime and antisocial behaviour. The operation also intends to improve community safety, protect children and vulnerable people from harm and improve the quality of life of people living in and visiting Stirling.
Last year’s operation reportedly saw a reduction in victim reported crime, violent crime and shoplifting and saw pro-active captures by police increase by 80%.
Despite these reports the operation still received criticism from the public that Steadfast pushed crime to other parts of the city and as soon as the operation was over, offenders simply returned to the centre.
Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, Local Area Commander for Stirling, said: “This is our second summer where Operation Steadfast is being rolled out in Stirling’s city centre and I want to thank our colleagues at Stirling Council for their continued support of this very worthwhile initiative.”
Marshall highlighted the type of crimes seen in the summer months and the tactics used by Steadfast.
“We know that over the summer months, we tend to see an increase in certain offences, often linked to excessive consumption of alcohol and it is important that we take a collaborative approach with our partners to addressing these issues.
“Similar to last summer and the 2018 festive period, we will have officers on high-visibility patrol throughout the city centre to engage with the public, deter criminal activity and respond appropriately to any incidents, which arise. In addition, these officers can also offer members of the public useful information on crime prevention and personal safety if required.
“Our mobile police station once again returns to the city centre and provides us with a central base to maximise our visibility and allow a swift response if any incidents requiring a police response are reported.”
Marshall reflected on the previous successes of Operation Steadfast.
“I am confident Operation Steadfast Summer 2019 will build on the success of the previous year and enhance our already excellent working relationship with our partners and engagement with the local residents and businesses within Stirling city centre.”
The council’s Public Safety Committee have stated that they intend to help keep Stirling safe through Steadfast Summer.
Convenor of Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee, Cllr Maureen Bennison, said: “The school summer holidays are almost upon us and that coincides with peak tourist season for Stirling and its wonderful attractions.
“We want to make sure everyone coming here feels safe, secure and free to enjoy themselves over that period.
“Operation Steadfast was welcomed in previous initiatives and reaffirms that Police Scotland and Stirling Council are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and criminal activity in our city centre.”
Cllr Chris Kane, Vice Convenor added: “We have been working closely with our partners to do our best to keep people safe over the summer, particularly vulnerable people, and at other busy periods in Stirling’s calendar.
“These campaigns are carefully planned and have a targeted approach to make sure Stirling’s fantastic City centre is a safe and prosperous place to visit, live and work.”
Operation Steadfast was first launched in the summer of 2018, and due to its reported success was carried out again in September 2018 for Fresher’s week and in December for the Festive period.
Featured Image Credit: Forth Valley Police Division