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.
Members of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee have approved additional funding for a project to bring new life to the site of a former derelict building on Wick High Street. In September last year the Scottish Government announced extra funding through the Town Centre Fund as part of its national economic recovery stimulus package, particularly aimed at supporting construction activity across Scotland.
Inverness Councillors on The Highland Council's City and Area Recovery Group today discussed the importance of local businesses having an online digital presence for customer access during the pandemic and post-lockdown recovery. Good digital access via websites and social media was the common theme raised by two speakers from Business Gateway and the Highland Food and Drink Trail in presentations to Councillors.
The Highland Council has begun detailed designs works on a major £2.5m energy project, part-funded by the Scottish Government through Salix Finance. At a site on the River Ness, near Whin Park in Inverness, the council is preparing to install a 92kW ‘Archimedes Screw' hydroelectric power turbine.
The Council's ICT in Learning team have been working hard to continue to support our school communities as we deliver remote learning to all children and young people across Highland. Chair of Education committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I want to thank all of our staff in Education who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our school communities are receiving support and a quality education experience.
Enrolment for all ELC providers, including local authority nurseries, partner settings and commissioned childminders, will take place online this year. Enrolment week for ELC places will take place on Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February 2021.
Following discussions at the recent Council meeting, the Council Leader has formally written to the Local Government Boundary Commission on their proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in the Highland Council area. She advised the Boundary Commission that the Council rejected the Commission's proposals in their entirety and formally requested that they halt this process immediately and review the whole issue of remote and rural area boundaries and councillor numbers in consultation with the Highland Council and other local authorities who have mainland councils with inhabited islands.
The Scottish Government has launched a £1,500 grant scheme to assist each individual licensed taxi or private hire driver with their fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. The Highland Council's Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: "The Highland Council has been asked by the Scottish Government to deliver this grant scheme on their behalf.
Applicants for the Scottish Government's Temporary Business Closure Grant can now apply even if they do not have a formal business bank account. Businesses will now be able to use a personal bank account as evidence, if the account is mainly used for their business banking.
A significant top-up to the grant support available for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions will be paid following an announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of.
Members at yesterday's previously adjourned and re-scheduled meeting of Highland Council voted to carry a motion introduced to make adjustments to the agenda in light of the situation in relation to COVID-19 and Brexit. The urgent motion was proposed by Highland Council Leader Cllr Margaret Davidson and supported by the Leader of the official Opposition, Cllr Raymond Bremner.