Yesterday morning in Irvine I met with a large group of folk and took part in a Safer streets audit.

The aim, to achieve a busy, vibrant, safe town centre over the festive period by identifying potential problems and preventing them before they happen.  

For me, yesterday was a great example of the commitment there is to partnership working in North Ayrshire.  Led by Chief Inspector Roddy Newbiggings along with Irvine community police officers the group had local licencees and business owners, taxi drivers and marshals, youth workers, CCTV, the fire service, environmental health, members of the licensing board and local Councillors.  

Audit sounds like something that goes on behind a desk but the process was practical and simple; we walked the streets in the centre and talked.  Where folk could see potential problems actions were agreed to address them.  

Extra Police officers will be deployed in the town centre and following feedback from one of the licensees will change where they patrol slightly to ensure that they are as visible as possible.  Other things like extra bins out and street cleaning to remove any bottles, the supermarkets coming into the centre to ensure all their trolleys are removed before revelers arrive for the evening and use them for go carts, damaging themselves or shop windows! will all contribute to making the city centre an environment conducive to having a good time in the evening.  

Prevention isn’t a difficult concept, but in practice can involve a huge range of services, exercises like the Safer Street audit are just one of many ways that North Ayrshire is working with partners to make a difference.  I was glad to have seen it in action and look forward to hearing about the impact it has had.