Safe Zone created ahead of Old Firm clash
Published 24 Mar 2012 12:30 0 Comments
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PATTERN: Tom Jackson says violence liked to Old Firm games is common across Scotland
THE danger of binge drinking and public disorder will be tackled at a special 'safe zone' in Dumbarton for tomorrow's Old Firm showdown.
In the first move of its kind, large bus will be parked in the town's quayside from 4-10pm offering a safe area where trained staff will be on-hand.
They will be there to assist residents in receiving help from the emergency services and access information on safety and travel.
Rangers will take on Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday (March 25) and the game has the potential to decide the league title.
The safe zone, in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council's Community Health and Care Partnership, Strathclyde Police, St Andrew's Ambulance Service and Y Sort It will also provide information on the range of support services available in West Dunbartonshire.
Tom Jackson, manager of Addiction Services said: "In town and cities across Scotland, there is evidence that the safety of individuals, as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, has often led to an increased level of vulnerability, associated anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
"There is a pattern in this evidence showing that the peak times for increased risk are associated with weekends, some football events and the festive season.
"We hope that people enjoy all the facilities that West Dunbartonshire has to offer but we also want to provide a safe environment for anyone who finds themselves in need of assistance."
Safe Zones and similar approaches now operate in many areas, largely in recognition of the significant demand on Police, Ambulance and other public services caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
A 'Street Team' will also patrol the area and offer support to members of the public or assist them to the Safe Zone.
Sergeant Cassie Glass of Strathclyde Police said: "We work closely with our partners and have been involved in Safe Zone from its initiation.
"Along with initiatives such as the deployment of taxi marshals and linking up with Council Wardens, the Safe Zone illustrates how the police, public sector and voluntary organisations can work together to create a safer and stronger West Dunbartonshire.
"In addition to the Safe Zone, a 'Street Team' will operate, in highly visible fluorescent vests, to support members of the public and I would strongly encourage anyone finding themselves poorly affected by alcohol, or otherwise concerned, to seek out the large purple bus, which is the Safe Zone or one of the street workers."
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 20 Mar 12
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