More than 60 licensed premises were visited and inspected during a Day of Action across the North East at the weekend to support license holders promote public safety and responsible drinking.
Officers in Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Inverurie, Ellon and Elgin, alongside local authority Licensed Standards Officers, visited 64 hotels, pubs, bars, clubs and off-sales during Friday evening (September 30) to support both North East Division and licensees in tackling violent crime.
Premises were checked for several licensing related matters including compliance with licenses and conditions, staff training and 'Challenge 25'.
Kenny McGeough, Licensing Inspector for the North East, said: "As we approach the busy festive period we want to promote responsible drinking and ensure that licensed premises are playing their part in providing a safe environment for members of the public to enjoy their night out. Off-sales also have a role to play in this as 75% of alcohol is sold in this way and at times consumed in large quantities - known as 'pre loading' - prior to attending pubs and clubs.
"We do not want to spoil anyone's fun, however it's no secret that excessive alcohol consumption is the biggest contributor to violent crime and it will also be no surprise to hear that the majority of alcohol fuelled offences happen at the weekend. Licensed premises are crucial partners with Police Scotland to help manage and reduce this. Alcohol itself doesn't make people violent but it lowers inhibitions and increases risk taking behaviour which can compromise your own and others safety.
"Earlier this year North East Division launched Operation PINE, a targeted initiative to tackle violent crime across the region, and this operation on Friday built on the already well-embedded practice of ensuring the right protocols are in place from the outset in licensed premises.
"Coinciding with this licensing operation we have also launched a new policing tool to assist officers with licensed premises visits. The D.I.S.C.O process outlines five areas that officers should consider - Duty management, Intoxication, Safety, Cause and Observations. This information is then fully reviewed by the divisional licensing team, who work in close and successful partnership with the licensed trade so that any issues identified can be managed and problems solved."
He added: "This particular initiative was a great success to further strengthen our partnership with licensed premises, to reduce violent crime and to keep people safe. The response from staff and customers was very positive and we appreciate this continued support.
"I would urge the public to assist with our efforts to tackle alcohol-fuelled crimes by drinking responsibly at home and whilst out to ensure their evening does not end in the wrong way."