POLICE officers in Angus are visiting every licensed premises in the division to remind licensees of the valuable role they place in keeping the area safe.
Divisional commander Chief Superintendent Colin Mackay wrote to each licensee to record his personal appreciation.
He said: “As Christmas and New Year approach Tayside Police is committed to ensuring that this time of year is an enjoyable time for all. Licensees are acutely aware that this is the busiest time of year for the sale of alcohol and that many people are looking forward to the festivities on offer from the various licensed premises within the county.
“This situation holds true for both the on and off sales trade.”
He went on: “However, for many in Angus this is a stressful and difficult time. Incidents of anti-social behaviour and violence increase across the county and in the vast majority of those incidents both the persons responsible and the victims have been drinking.
“Although the escalation in anti-social behaviour and violence is a serious concern, it is by no means the only concern. There is also the additional risk of injury from house fires which can be directly attributed to alcohol consumption.”
Chief Superintendent Mackay went on to say that the problems associated with alcohol misuse are often exacerbated when it comes to persons under 18 years of age.
He added: “It is with that section of our community in mind that I would ask all licensees to be particularly vigilant and again this holds true for both the on and off sales trade.
“Licensees have obligations to public safety and for the safety of their staff and if in doubt, they should always ask for proof of age, be aware of alcohol being supplied to those underage by their friends or adults acting as agents, and always be aware of those people within your premises who have perhaps had too much to drink and whether they should be served any more alcohol.”
Chief Superintendent Mackay concluded: “Over the festive period, police officers will be undertaking visits to all licensed premises in Angus to discuss any issues. I think most licensees welcome these visits and that it will further strengthen the good working relationship between local officers and the community that they work in.
“By working together we can ensure that the public enjoy a safe and happy festive period.”