Police wish communities a happy and safe Hogmanay

Police Scotland
Police Scotland

Police in the North East are urging people to enjoy the Hogmanay weekend but are warning against using celebrations as an excuse for anti-social behaviour.

Officers will also be stepping up patrols across the north-east to support communities and organisers of events.

A number of organised events are taking place including ones in Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Ellon, Portsoy and Forres and while tickets may be required at some, those wishing to celebrate the New Year are being encouraged to attend one of these events where possible.

A reminder has been issued that organised events and firework displays provide the safest format to view and enjoy fireworks.

Chief Inspector Main, Local Area Commander said: "Hogmanay is traditionally a fun and often a family-oriented time of year, where people get together to see in the New Year. Unfortunately, it can also be a busy time of the year for emergency services with increased reports of anti-social behaviour, excessive drunkenness and on occasion disorder.

"Our planning staff and local policing teams have been working with organisers, the Local Authority and other partners for many months to try and ensure people can attend the events and enjoy themselves in a safe and secure environment."

"Any type of unacceptable behaviour will be quickly dealt with and those responsible will be held to account for their actions.

Chief Inspector Main also urged drivers not to get in their vehicles after consuming alcohol, including the morning after a night drinking.

He said: "Officers across the north-east will be concentrating their efforts on preventing and detecting drink and drug-driving in support of the annual festive drink/drug drive campaign.

"Extra visibility and activity is in place to tackle the small minority of reckless road users who continue to break the law but also to remind the general public that drink or drug driving is never worth the risk."

Individuals are being urged to pay close attention to their own personal safety and consider the following simple steps:

*Plan your day or evening in advance. Know how you are going to get home and keep some money aside in case you need a taxi or public transport.​

*Be aware of your surroundings and stay to the main areas and more lighted or frequented places.

*Make sure you don't leave your belongings unattended.

*Where possible remain in groups and if not just remain vigilant of others around you.