Aberdeen is Britain’s safest city, according to a new report from a leading credit agency.
The figures, which were gathered by Provident from a survey of UK residents, saw the Granite City emerge at No 1 in the safety stakes.
The accolade followed Aberdeen recently receiving the Purple Flag award – for a fourth year in a row – which recognised it as having established a safe city centre and nightlife.
The report declared: “Aberdeen is as welcoming, friendly and safe as it has ever been, going by our data.
“Overall, it continues to be one of the best cities in the UK, according to its residents.”
The study discovered nearly 70% of residents thought there was a strong sense of community and over 76% added they got along with their neighbours so much, they would happily look after their houses while they were on holiday.
Union Street was branded one of Scotland’s most dangerous thoroughfares in a police report as recently as 2011.
But a multi-agency approach has been taken to clamp down on city centre crime with initiatives such as street pastors, taxi marshals and increased lighting in the city centre.
Last night, chairman of the Grampian Community Safety Partnership, Martin Greig, said: “There has been a real spirit of collaboration between different partners and I think that has been a major reason behind our success.”
Chief executive of city centre business body, Aberdeen Inspired, Adrian Watson, added: “We and our partner organisations, including Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland, Unight and the Street Pastors have been working in partnership over a number of years now on a range of safety initiatives under the purple flag to create a better city for residents and visitors.”
Former city council leader, Barney Crockett, said he felt “perception” of the city centre had improved “vastly” over the last few years.
And police inspector, Jason Carrigan, described Aberdeen as ” a vibrant city with thriving communities, shops, and night life.”
But despite the improvements made, officials said there was no room for complacency.
Council leader, Jenny Laing, said: “We will continue to work with our partners to bring new initiatives to the city such as the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign and the ‘Keep safe’ scheme.”