The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

SafeAyr’s second birthday celebrates keeping Ayr Town Centre safe

TWO years ago the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership launched the SafeAyr project in Ayr Town Centre, with the aim of making the town a safer and more pleasant place to enjoy a night out.

[Pictured with a SafeAyr branded taxi are (standing left to right) Martin Wilkinson, Private Hire Association, Francis Berthaud, Secretary of South Ayrshire Taxi Owners Association, Depute Provost Mary Kilpatrick, James Glackin, Security Scotland Limited, John McGuire, Chairman of South Ayrshire Taxi Owners Association, Councillor Margaret Toner, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, Willie Melon, Taxi Driver and (kneeling left to right) Police Constable Pitt and Police Constable Barrowman.]

South Ayrshire has always been a safe and pleasant place to live, work and socialise. The area has a low crime rate compared to other areas in Ayrshire, particularly in relation to serious and violent crimes.

Councillor Margaret Toner, Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership said: “Over the last two years the SafeAyr initiative has been more successful than any of us could have imagined.

“Ayr town centre remains one of the safest places for people to enjoy the pubs, clubs and restaurants. The vast majority of people come to enjoy themselves, with only the very small minority being involved in antisocial behaviour. The aim of the SafeAyr is to ensure the town centre area is an even safer and more pleasant place to enjoy a night out.

“This has been achieved by the hard work and dedication of all the partners, and in particular Strathclyde Police and the Council. I would like to congratulate the local licensees, shopkeepers, taxis and private hire operators who have all enthusiastically embraced SafeAyr. Together we have made a real difference.”

SafeAyr is funded by the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, Council Civic Pride funding and with support from Strathclyde Police. During the last two years SafeAyr has seen the introduction of:

* Taxi marshals for better management of taxi ranks, who direct people to the appropriate taxi ranks and advise people on the etiquette when using taxis and private hires.
* Extra high profile policing.
* Additional emptying of rubbish bins in the town centre.
* Traffic restrictions around Boswell Park in Ayr.
* Public information campaigns with distinctive SafeAyr branding.
* SafeAyr branding on some taxis and buses.
* Posters, cards, advertising in the media in a range of locations have all raised the profile of SafeAyr.
* Gobo light projections of messages with community safety messages on to the wall of the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.
* Liaison with ALTA the Ayr Licence Trade Alliance.

Superintendent John Hazlett, Strathclyde Police said: “This project has proven to be an excellent example of the success that can be achieved through partnership working.

“Ayr town centre can be a very busy place right into the early hours of the morning over weekend periods. There are certain key weekends over the year where local planned events bring large numbers of visitors to the town centre. These weekends can be very challenging times for the Police, with extra demands made on our resources.
“The previous success of the project leaves no room for complacency, and the challenge remains to build on this level of success and aim for continuous improvement with the aim of addressing local issues and making Ayr town centre safer.
“In partnership with South Ayrshire Council I will continue to commit extra Police Officers into Ayr town centre, providing high visibility policing and traditional enforcement to ensure public reassurance for the majority of people who are there for a good night out and also to target those responsible for intimidating and antisocial behaviour.”   
 Tourism is very important to the local economy, so making Ayr a safe place where visitors can enjoy a care free social evening is crucial to getting them to return to the area. This is why, for their safety and the safety of local residents six monthly evaluations are being carried out to find out what people who are in Ayr town centre at night think of the level of safety.

Anyone who would like further information about the SafeAyr project, is interested in placing SafeAyr branding in their premises, or having a public message projected from the Gobo on to the Gaiety should e-mail or telephone 01292 616626.

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