A student safety campaign led by frontline police officers has kicked off in Aberdeen city centre and will continue until late September.
The Evening Express joined City Centre Inspector Stuart McAdam on the beat around student hotspots last night as the three-week freshers’ period began.
At just after 11pm, the joint operation involving police, the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and student welfare group Red Frogs shifted into gear as the first coach load of students hit the Granite City.
Coaches were laid on from the halls of residents at the University of Aberdeen, with co-ordinators keeping in close communication with Insp McAdam and his team so students could be greeted upon arrival with a smile.
‘Hydration stations’ were set up in and around popular student nightclubs and a coach was made available for any student who felt worse for wear and wanted to go home.
Among those arriving into the city centre on the first coach was psychology student Albert Soler Crunyes, 18, who is from Catalunya in Spain.
He said: “I think it’s great that they care about us and that they have put all these plans into place to make sure we are okay.
“It’s a very warm introduction to Aberdeen.”
Albert was joined by English student Elena Painen, who is from Finland, and sociology student Chiara Riezzo, of Italy.
Chiara, 19, said: “The efforts to look after us seem to be working very well.
“The police and the university staff care about the student life so we don’t feel lonely here.”
Elena, 19, said: “It’s amazing. The co-operation between the police and the university has exceeded my expectations when it comes to student welfare.”
Insp McAdam said: “A huge part of tonight has been about showing students the supportive side of the police.
“We want to ensure that students enjoy themselves when they’re out, that they drink responsibly and that they get home safe.
“The partnership we have with the universities is crucial.”