Thousands of students are set to descend on Aberdeen over the next two weeks – and police want them to have fun but keep safe.
Police chiefs yesterday joined student welfare officers and nightlife representatives to launch a campaign aimed at ensuring students are looked after as they learn their way around the city – particularly on nights out.
The freshers’ period – when new students first arrive at university – begins this weekend and continues for three weeks, as people arrive from all over the UK and the world to begin academic courses at Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.
During the three-week period, police will step up city centre patrols, more street pastors will be on duty and some nightclubs will have “hydration stations” where free soft drinks and sweets will be given out.
Police will provide advice and support to venue doormen and universities will provide transport to take vulnerable students home.
Halls of residence staff will then look after them.
City centre Inspector Stuart McAdam, of Police Scotland, said: “We would like to welcome the students to Aberdeen. It will be great to see the city thriving again at night.
“I’m not too old to forget student life so I know there’s a fair bit of drinking involved.
“We want people to enjoy the city but to do so responsibly – to look out for one another and not to drink to excess.”
Sarah Wheeler, chairwoman of Unight, which works with the city’s bars and nightclubs to keep revellers safe, said: “All Unight venues are looking forward to new and returning students arriving this week and in the forthcoming weeks. We are extremely excited about welcoming them to our vibrant, safe and very beautiful city centre at this exciting time in their lives.”
The campaign has been backed by other emergency services, both universities and Aberdeen Inspired, which promotes the city centre on behalf of Aberdeen City Council.
“Let’s give Freshers a warm welcome”, Page 24