With the Christmas party season now in full flow, police in the Highlands are encouraging anyone attending festivities to stay in control and know their limits when it comes to alcohol. 

Work parties, festive drinks and family celebrations are all part of the Christmas fun but sadly alcohol-related incidents such as domestic abuse, assault, vandalism and antisocial behaviour increase during the festive period. 

Chief Inspector Iain MacLelland, Area Commander for North Highland said: "Everyone wants to have a good time at Christmas and we certainly don't want to put a stop to that, but we will put a stop to the violence and anti-social behaviour that can accompany drinking too much. 

"Last weekend saw officers across the Highlands and Islands called to repeated incidents related to people on works nights out who had too much to drink. We are simply asking people to think about the possible consequences of drinking to excess while they are socialising during the festive period in respect of their family, health and employment. 

"Alcohol can change people's behaviour, causing them to take unnecessary risks. We ask that people stay in control and recognise the effects alcohol can have on their judgment and behaviour. As part of Operation Respect, our officers will be patrolling licensed premises across the North Highland towns and villages to prevent such incidents from taking place." 

He added: "We want everyone to enjoy the party this festive season. People should know their limits and also not be afraid to act in the best interests of their friends and family when they can see it is time to call it a night. Get it wrong and the consequences could be life changing for all the wrong reasons.” 

For further advice on keeping safe over the festive period please see the Police Scotland website.