Schools and Police call for information on suspected anti-social, alcohol and drug activity
3rd June 2019
Highland schools and Police call on people to share information on suspected anti-social, alcohol and drug activity.
Highland Council secondary schools in the Mid Highland area and Police Scotland are writing to parents and carers urging them to share any concerns or information related to possible anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug activity in their areas.
A joint letter sent to parents and carers of pupils gives reassurance that schools and Police are working together to ensure young people, schools and communities remain safe.
The letter also invites parents and carers to an Information Evening on Monday 10 June 2019 - 7pm at Dingwall Academy. Further details on the event have been sent home from each secondary school.
The letter informs that there has been notable: "...increases in the volume of information shared regarding drug and alcohol activity, and in anti-social behaviour in the Mid-Highland Area and around our communities."
It explains that: “Although these are not new issues, the risks do seem to be more prevalent than previously with increased risk-taking behaviour among a greater proportion of young people and at earlier ages.”
The letter also states that: “Pupils, parents and carers need to be aware that young people are using and supplying harmful substances across our communities and seem to believe that such activity is ‘normal' for them and others. Controlled substances previously believed to not have been a significant issue for young people in many areas in Highland are now readily available. It is possible for young people, to access a wide variety of substances and these can include (but not exclusively) cannabis, psycho-active substances (‘legal highs’) and prescription drugs. These can be obtained from local contacts, wider contacts through social media and can be purchased on-line in some cases.
“The incidence of reports regarding anti-social behaviour is also increasing. Reports are of open air drunkenness and associated verbal abuse, mess and danger to the public from broken glass and other waste being left behind in parks, on beaches and in other public amenity spaces; of verbal abuse and intimidation of members of the public; often vulnerable young people and adults being the victims of such abuse; of purchase, selling and use of a range of substances which can then impact on further anti-social behaviours and also irresponsible behaviour on and near roads.
“All partners involved to date support the view that to address these concerns, schools, parents, pupils and partners such as Police Scotland, Social Work Service and Youth Action Team, Community Councils etc need to work together to identify and address such risk taking and anti-social behaviour and reduce the impact they are having on our communities and on our young people. Almost all of these behaviours occur in the evenings and at weekends/holidays.”
Highland Council and Police Scotland are urging pupils, parents and carers that where concerns exist about possible drug-activities, information is passed on either to the Crime Stoppers helpline on 0800 555 111; Police Scotland on 101 or to local schools.
The Highland Council is updating parents and carers of its position on early learning and childcare (ELC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August.
Following on from the recent publication of Highland Council's Supporting Economic Recovery in Highland - A Guide for Businesses - the Council is announcing relaxation of some controls that will assist tourist accommodation providers have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In recognition of this where there are specific planning and licensing controls in relation to occupancy, for example: a restriction on the occupancy of any caravan for a continuous 12 month period; or where conditions restrict occupancy for specific periods of time, ...these will be relaxed by the Council up to and including April 2021.
The Caithness Committee met virtual today for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and it's agenda focused on the actions taken by the Council and the third sector to deal with the effects of Coronavirus in Caithness. The Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Paul Senior, gave members an update on the plans and preparations underway to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Caithness schools in August.
Margaret Davidson, the Leader of the Highland Council has given her strong support to the efforts of the Scottish Government to obtain greater fiscal flexibility from the UK Government. The Scottish Government have sought flexibility to offset capital underspend against resource expenditure, more flexibility over resource borrowing and greater flexibility over the use of the reserve for capital.
The Highland Council is planning to re-open play areas across the region throughout summer. Advice was provided by the Scottish Government on 28 June as to the safety measures that should be applied.
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service. The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink. A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council. Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands. In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.