Initiative launched to ensure public safety along Moray coast
Published 17 May 2019
Officers in Moray have launched an initiative to ensure public safety along the Moray coast this summer.
Dedicated coastal patrols will be starting over the next few weeks and will focus on coastal villages such as Lossiemouth, Burghead, Hopeman and Garmouth.
Along with partner organisations including Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Forestry and Land Scotland, RAF and Moray Council, officers will be looking to highlight the risks of drink driving, antisocial behaviour, water safety such as when using boats and inflatables, littering, licencing offences and fire prevention.
Sergeant Neil Morrison said: “With the better weather now here, over the coming months the coastal villages of Moray will see an increase in visitors looking to enjoy the scenery and local hospitality that each village has to offer.
“We certainly don’t want to discourage people from visiting the area, but we would encourage all residents and visitors to take responsibility for their actions and to ensure that they enjoy their summer safely.
“If you are drinking whilst socialising, ensure you have a plan for getting home whether it be a designated driver, taxi or public transport. As tempting as it is to enjoy a few drinks on a lovely sunny day enjoying the view of the sea, drink driving will simply not be tolerated. Anyone found to be over the limit when driving will be dealt with robustly which could involve it is a minimum 12 month driving ban, a criminal record, a substantial fine and the possibility of a prison sentence.
“We would also urge people to think carefully about water safety. On a hot day, the sea or any other water course, can look inviting but it can be very easy to get into difficulty in water, especially if a person has been drinking. Our seas can be extremely unforgiving, conditions can change rapidly and the risks are high when entering the water at any time of the day or night when you are not suitably prepared. I would therefore urge anyone thinking of entering any body of water whether you are swimming, sailing or even walking near the water’s edge to make sure they have taken the necessary preparations and precautions to stay safe.
“Antisocial behaviour is another important strand of this initiative. Having a good time is perfectly acceptable but when your enjoyable time creates an unenjoyable or uncomfortable experience for someone else because you are behaving antisocially, we may take action. Always be mindful of your limits when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol can bring out aggression that a person doesn’t normally display or it can render a person so incapable they become vulnerable to becoming the victim of a crime.
“If you find yourself in a confrontational situation the best advice I can give is to simply walk away. Just one punch can be enough to cause lasting damage, and the effect your actions could have on the lives of everyone involved might be irreversible.
“Take care of yourself, drink responsibly, don’t leave yourself in a vulnerable position and make sure you know how you are getting home.
“We hope everyone who lives and visits the Moray coast this summer has a safe and enjoyable time.”
Ross Greenhill, area commander for HM Coastguard said: “We love the coast and want everyone to experience it safely. There are a few simple things to bear in mind when you go to the coast for the day which could be the difference between a great day out and a tragic one. Don’t be tempted to swim or take a boat out if you’ve been drinking, even if you think it’s only been a little. The sea and alcohol just do not mix. Alcohol is a contributory factor in a significant number of coastal drownings every year. Jumping into sea water from a great height often results in life-changing injuries or worse. Watch out for your mates.
“Check tide times, be careful to swim on life-guarded beaches, watch out for sudden changes in the weather and remember the sea is not consistent, it can catch out even the most experienced swimmers. If you see anyone in difficulty at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Corporal Jamie Barstow, from The Royal Air Force Police said: “We are happy to be working in cooperation with Police Scotland and other local partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the amazing natural facilities we have around us safely and securely.
“RAFP are regularly seen out and about in the local community and we look forward to enhancing the relationships we have already fostered and making new relationships to the benefit of the local community and RAF personnel based at RAF Lossiemouth.”
Find out more about local policing issues in this area by visiting: Buckie, Heldon and Laich, Keith and Cullen, Moray, North East
Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.