Chief Inspector Gordon Macleod

Police Scotland is looking forward to supporting two major musical events in the Highlands and islands this weekend with the HebCelt Festival on the Isle of Lewis and Olly Murs performing in Inverness.

HebCelt gets underway today in the grounds of Lews Castle in Stornoway until Saturday - while Olly Murs will perform at Bught Park in Inverness on Saturday evening.

Police are committed to making the experience at both events a safe and enjoyable one for all.

Chief Inspector Gordon Macleod, violence lead for the Highlands and Islands, outlined the work being done across the division through Operation Respect to reduce incidents of violence and disorder linked to events and licenced premises.

Operation Respect is now in its fifth year and supports Police Scotland’s Safe Summer Campaign, which highlights how violent crime has a substantial economic and social cost to Scotland’s communities.

Over-consumption of alcohol is seen as a key contributing factor in people becoming involved in acts of violence at events, both as a perpetrator and as a victim.

Police want people to enjoy themselves but also to know their limits and to keep themselves safe.

Chief Inspector Macleod said: “Having long enjoyed the reputation, of being the safest place to live, work and visit, we continue to work with our key partners across the Highlands and Islands to make our communities safer and reduce the risk of violence and disorder.

“This year there are a number of music festivals and other licensed events scheduled to take place across the division and we have been working with event organisers to ensure visitors to all these events have an enjoyable experience in a safe friendly environment.

"As highlighted, over consumption of alcohol is a contributory factor to acts of violence and disorder, therefore I reiterate the message contained within the #FESTIVALSAFETY guide, for people to drink sensibly and consider the safety of themselves and others."

Divisional commander for the Highlands and Islands, Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said, “Operation Respect, is one element of the work being done across the division to try and ensure the safety of people living, working and visiting this area.

"Officers are engaged on patrol to warn and inform the public and will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the public, who may be attending one of the many organised events or just out socialising in our towns and villages.

"I would encourage our communities to continue to support us as we aim to ensure their safety when they are out and about.”