WELL, the festive season is well and truly upon us and, with all things currently dominated by Brexit and the General Election, I thought it would be good to take this opportunity to focus on the non-political festivities. This time of year quite rightly brings several campaigns to the fore for police in response to the increased demand in relation to shopping, party nights out, bad weather, drink driving, online fraud, etc. Not the merry stuff, I know.

The campaigns we organise and deliver though are very simply all about keeping people safe at the time of year when some people are at their most vulnerable and others most prolific at taking advantage. So what the local officers in Clacks will be getting up to this year is being out and about in our communities when we need to be.

When people are out shopping and buying more than they can afford or carry then officers will be on foot patrol, highly visible and accessible to people as part of our Operation Christmas. These officers will provide reassurance to shoppers and retail workers and deter criminal activity in our town centres.

At night, when out partying in Clacks, we will have patrols of licensed premises and Alloa town centre to allow people to enjoy themselves in safe environments under our Festive Weekend Policing Plan working with licensed premises and stewarding staff. This includes our Ask for Angela campaign which aims to prevent and reduce sexual violence and vulnerability. This initiative offers an option for a person who feels uncomfortable or unsafe on a date to approach a member of staff in relevant licensed premises and "Ask for Angela" - indicating that something is wrong. Staff will then discreetly facilitate an exit from the premises.

And on the point of getting home, we will be supporting the national Drink Drive campaign with local officers and colleagues in the roads policing unit to target drivers who put themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Sadly, domestic abuse and violence tends to increase too. The 16 Days of Action campaign Tackling Violence against Women and Girls in Scotland 2019 began on Monday, November 25, running through until December 10. This is a series of events and initiatives to make the 16 days a time when we all speak out collectively against violence, creating communities that do not tolerate violence and is safe for anyone suffering from gender-based violence.

Domestic abuse and violence remains high in Clacks and we will continue to work with our many partners to do everything we can to support victims, predominantly women, children affected and deal with the perpetrators robustly. Keep your eyes peeled as well for a full range of safety advice online www.scotland.police.uk and in social media at Forth Valley Police Division on Facebook or @ForthValPolice and @ClackmanPolice on twitter.

There will be advice for shoppers on keeping safe online from fraud and when in the shops from distraction theft artists after your wallets, purses and purchases. Posts on home security and safety for those going away for the holidays and looking after your neighbour's property, vulnerable people and for suspicious characters.

There will be messages on driving and bad weather, should it strike, for carrying the right equipment and taking care of your vehicle. Safe driving, partying and shopping advice and information will be posted online regularly over the festive period. Please have a look at our social media for some really useful tips, no matter what you are doing this Christmas time, they can help you keep yourself, friends, family and property safe. I wish all our Clackmannanshire communities a safe and very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.