Police in Inverness are set to continue working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service to deliver a joint response vehicle following a successful trial during the festive period.
Paramedics and police officers jointly staffed a patrol vehicle on three key nights around Christmas and New Year.
Normally incidents requiring both police and ambulance would entail both services separately dispatching resources to the scene.
Many of the 21 incidents responded to by the joint car did not require any further back-up from either service, freeing up resources elsewhere in the city.
This resulted in more than 13 hours police time being saved where they would normally have had to attend incidents and over eight hours being saved by ambulance crews.
It has been agreed that the joint car will now operate on the final Saturday of every month throughout the year, with increased availability during the festive period.
Sergeant Nick MacRae of the Inverness City Centre Community Policing Team said: "We are pleased to be able to continue to work in partnership with our colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service on this initiative.
"The deployment of the joint vehicle was able to help us provide a fast and efficient response to a number of incidents where people were in need of assistance.
"It had the added benefit in many cases of allowing officers to continue with their regular duties keeping people safe in Inverness city centre where they might otherwise be tied up for an extended period.
"While both ourselves and the ambulance service are available to help people in need of our services, I would remind people to take responsibility for their themselves and their friends to enjoy a night out safely."
Steven Gorman, Area Service Manager, Scottish Ambulance Service added:
“Time is of the essence in life threatening incidents and these results illustrate the benefits for patients and both of our services.
“Working in partnership with Police Scotland in this way has helped saved valuable time, freeing up both police and ambulance resources, and we’re delighted that this new approach to patient-centred care is continuing.”