Partnership working in Aberdeen city centre has been hailed as an exemplar to the rest of the country after it secured the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for a fifth year in a row.
Led by business organisation Aberdeen Inspired, with support from Police Scotland, Unight, Aberdeen City Council, Street Pastors and other key stakeholders, the city has achieved the coveted standard in recognition of its commitment to promoting a safe and secure night time economy.
Aberdeen became the first city in Scotland to be awarded the accreditation in 2014 and has now been re-accredited for the fifth time, receiving praise for its strong partnership working alongside its lively mix of evening entertainment.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, welcomed the award and praised the ongoing work which goes into making this continued success possible.
He said: “A huge amount of effort has gone in by the team here at Aberdeen Inspired, as well as Police Scotland, Unight, Aberdeen City Council and a host of other partners to ensure that we continue to provide the safest possible environment for the public to enjoy our city centre evening economy.
“We are delighted to have secured our fifth consecutive Purple Flag, that has put us to the fore in Scottish terms. Moreover, it is satisfying indeed to receive detailed feedback from the assessors who have said that Aberdeen City Centre’s partnership work is also an exemplar in UK terms. They said it was some of the best practice they have seen to date.
“Of course, in this field, there is no room for complacency whatsoever and there will always be challenge in a city this size.
“However, I trust the public will take a great deal of reassurance that we are innovatively working with our businesses and partners, in particular with outstanding support from Police Scotland, in getting to a position where we are consistently seen by so many others as being one of the safest city centres in the United Kingdom.
“Safety is a fundamental for any town or city centre and with the rigour that the Purple Flag accreditation scheme brings, allows us with some confidence to continue to move forward and explore ways in which we can build on our city centre’s vibrancy and offering.”
The Purple Flag scheme is a town and centre award managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which looks at the wellbeing, movement, appeal and sense of place within a city centre.
Cities are rewarded for their ability to showcase a variety of initiatives aimed at attracting visitors to the area during the evening.
This year’s application was strengthened by several projects aimed at fostering a sense of pride within the city, with Aberdeen Inspired’s Summer of Art, the Nuart Aberdeen festival, the Painted Doors project, Aberdeen Comedy Festival, Police Scotland’s Operation Oak campaign and Aberdeen Christmas Village all playing a part.
Chief Inspector Martin Mackay, said: “Police Scotland are delighted that Aberdeen has yet again been recognised for the fifth consecutive year with the awarding of the prestigious Purple Flag.
“The cohesive and effective partnership working arrangements through the City Centre Partnership is the envy of other towns and cities and consistently works to improves the City Centre whilst enhancing public safety and reducing crime.
“This award is the fruition of years of investment in time, effort and passion by groups and individuals who are all determined to ensure that Aberdeen is one of Europe’s safest city centres.”
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “Receiving Purple Flag accreditation for the fifth year is testament to the strong partnership work undertaken by the Community Safety Partnership, Aberdeen Inspired, Police Scotland and a number of other agencies.
“Through our City Centre Masterplan Aberdeen City Council is committed to making Aberdeen an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit. We work closely with a range of partners to deliver initiatives such as Unight, Best Bar None and the taxi marshals which play a huge role in creating a safe and welcoming night time experience.”
Craig Duncan, managing director of Craigton Foods which owns McDonald’s on Union Street, said: “I want to congratulate Aberdeen Inspired and all the partners involved in achieving the status of Purple Flag for the city centre of Aberdeen for the fifth year.
“It is an endorsement of all the partnership working carried out in Aberdeen City Centre to enhance the centre as a vibrant safe and extremely enjoyable place to go out in.”