Cops gear up for busiest night of the year

EXTRA police officers will be deployed in Glasgow as the city braces itself for the busiest night of the year.

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Police are to deploy more officers in the streets to deal with Black Friday
Police are to deploy more officers in the streets to deal with Black Friday

Police will carry out extra patrols as a surge of partygoers descend to pack out city centre bars, restaurants and nightclubs tomorrow night in what has become known as 'Black Friday.'

Today, one of Glasgow's most senior police officers revealed he has put extra resources in place - in all parts of the city - in a bid to prevent crime and disorder.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, area commander for Glasgow City Centre, urged festive revellers and office party goers to, "be sensible, plan your night and take care of yourself."

Mr Porte will deploy extra officers on to the city centre's streets in a bid to prevent crime and keep people safe.

Revellers are being warned to take extra care as violent crime and thefts tend to spike over the festive period.

Partygoers - particularly women - are also reminded to avoid walking in unlit areas, including the city centre's many lanes.

Mr Porte added: "We have had a difficult start to December after the terrible accident at the Clutha Vaults.

"I want to assure people that officers will be working with our partners, over the festive period, every bit as hard as always.

"We will continue to keep people safe and ensure we all have the opportunity to enjoy the season to the full."

An emergency bus to help revellers who cannot get home will also operate every Friday and Saturday night until New Year's Eve.

The SOS bus will be open from 10pm, and will be parked outside Glasgow Central Station in Gordon Street, in the heart of the city centre

Mr Porte urged party-goers to only use licensed taxi firms.

More than 10,500 revellers queued for taxis across the city centre's NiteZones during last year's 'Black Friday' night.

Glasgow Taxis dealt with around 25,000 hires on the night.

And the firm will have its full fleet of almost 1000 taxis on the roads tomorrow night to cope with demand.

As previously reported by the Evening Times, Glasgow's festive safety campaign will see an extra £10,500 spent to improve public safety in the city centre.

Extra community enforcement officers will be out on patrol at weekends throughout December in areas not covered by CCTV.

Two mobile CCTV vans will also be in action on the city's streets.

Posters have been displayed in clubs and pubs with tips and advice about how to stay safe.

Mr Porte also encouraged revellers to use the city's marshalled NiteZones taxi ranks.

The city has five NiteZones in operation over the festive period, which will get additional support from police officers.

These are situated at Gordon Street, Sauchiehall Street, Albion Street, Byres Road and Shawlands.

Glasgow Taxi Association will have a radio network linked taxi marshal on duty to ensure cab drivers get to ranks quickly.

Festive revellers are also being urged not to binge drink at home before heading out to pubs and clubs.

Phil Walker, managing director of Community Safety Glasgow, said: "The Christmas and New Year period is well-known as a time when many people overindulge in alcohol.

"This is especially dangerous if they choose to 'pre-load' at home, as the effects of the alcohol they consume before they go out can sometimes hit suddenly."

Police will also carry out extra patrols around city train stations, taxi ranks and across the city's bridges.

Mr Porte believes working with partners, including street pastors, Community Safety Glasgow, NiteZones, and the SOS bus is "key" to keeping people safe over the festive period.


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