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As a vast area, the Highlands has its own challenge when it comes to protecting communities. Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance Services, the Coastguard Service and Mountain Rescue all rise to this geographical challenge.

Against this backdrop, it is reassuring that the Highlands is one of the safest places in the UK - a fact which is the envy of police forces across the country. The area has one of the lowest crime levels matched with high detection rates.

Community policing takes a high priority with officers adopting a positive approach to the wellbeing of the Highlands. Working in effective partnerships with communities and other organisations, policing is tackled at local level, is highly visible, responsive and supported by specialist units at the headquarters of Northern Constabulary in Inverness.

With Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, the Constabulary also share intelligence and common aims to help improve public safety particularly where reducing road casualties and promoting safer roads are a priority.

Due to the rural nature of the area, the Highland and Islands Fire Brigade employs a variety of operational staff, from wholetime, part-time retained and volunteer auxiliary to cover its vast area effectively.

Reducing the number of fires, fatalities and injuries is a priority. The brigade regularly engages with the public and businesses to help inform and educate them in the identification and minimisation of fire risks in their everyday lives of living, working and playing in the Highlands.

As one of the great and accessible wildernesses in the world, the mountains of the area attract outdoor enthusiasts in their droves. The formation of the Cairngorms National Park has added to the profile and attractiveness of these most beautiful environments. Several mountain rescue units exist in the Highlands which are voluntarily manned by teams of dedicated individuals, who help save lives all year round.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme