The SafeAyr project brings together a range of initiatives to make Ayr town centre a safer and more attractive place to go out in over the weekend. It is led by the Safe Group in parallel with the initiatives of the Safer Scotland and Police Scotland Police Violence Reduction campaigns.

How did it all start

The Safe Ayr project began with a 6 week pilot period from 16th June - 31st July 2006. It identified the Key violence” hotspots” occurring on Friday and Saturday nights as the first area for action

An analysis of the problems showed some key factors.

Key factors:

  • Numbers of people leaving licensed premises in the early hours of the morning.
  • Numbers of people leaving catering outlets in the early hours of the morning.
  • Numbers of people trying to get home after buses/trains had ceased services.
  • Numbers of people congregating at certain taxi ranks and other ranks not being used.
  • Disorder at ranks leading to incidents of verbal abuse and violence.
  • Effects of alcohol/drugs fuelling these incidents.
  • Assaults on taxi drivers.
  • ‘Cruisers’ moving from the seafront to Boswell Park, adding to the disorder and causing obstruction.
  • The same cruisers causing obstruction for the emergency services.
  • Numbers of young people on the streets who have come out of pubs and/or can’t get into clubs.
  • A variety of antisocial behaviour, including vandalising plant tubs and urinating in doorways or on the street.
  • Small incidences of people carrying weapons eg knives.

What are the aims of the SafeAyr Project?

  • To reduce the number of violent incidents in Ayr town centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • To target potential hotspots of disorder around the taxi ranks.
  • To improve safety in Ayr town centre.
  • To increase usage of all taxi ranks.
  • To increase awareness of acceptable behaviour by establishing a taxi etiquette.
  • To increase the detection rate of crimes committed in Ayr town centre.
  • To facilitate Police and emergency services’ response to incidents.


How is SafeAyr publicised?

When the initiative began, posters and small cards were distributed through schools, youth and community groups, colleges and the general public. Local and pan-ayrshire news articles appear quarterly, launching any new initiatives; information posters are displayed in licensed premises, town centre catering outlets and; a projector has been Installed in the Boswell Park area and delivers public information relevant to the night time economy - a new and innovative method of communicating public information. In the summer of 2007 the SafeAyr initiative featured on STV news.

How is SafeAyr evaluated?

The SafeAyr initiative has ongoing project evaluations and feedback sessions are held regularly with licensees, staff from catering outlets and taxi and private hire operators at the Joint Action Group meetings. The Police compare previous crime statistics against recent ones to highlight the key indicators identified from the Problem Solving process. Questionnaires are collected quarterly from the general public involved in the night time economy while they are out in the town centre.