A Portree Police Scotland Sergeant has won a scholarship that will take him to Las Vegas.
Thirty-five year old Bruce Crawford will be heading to Las Vegas for an international conference on tourist safety later this week.
By chance, Bruce stumbled across the International Tourism Safety Association ITSA website earlier this year. He discovered that the Association provided one scholarship each year to attend the annual conference and gain an international qualification.
To win the scholarship, Bruce had to write an essay on what tourism safety means to him. His seven-hundred-word paper focussed on the challenges faced by Police Officers on Skye from dangerously parked vehicles at some of the tourism ‘hot-spots’ to inadequately equipped walkers heading into the hills and getting into difficulties.
To Bruce’s delight, his essay was chosen and he jets off later this week to the gambling capital of the world. “I was a bit shocked and excited to hear that I had won. It’s a great opportunity and the trip will not cost Police Scotland a penny. I am even attending the conference on my off-duty days.”
Nevada Police have their own tourism policing department to deal with up to fifty million visitors a year and he hopes to spend time with officers learning from their experience.
Bruce reveals: “Tourists go missing in the Grand Canyon or around the Hoover Dam just as they go missing in the Cuillin or the Quiraing. I want to learn how the Tourist safety division spreads safety messages and what they do when people go missing. Education and spreading safety messages to visitors coming and going from Skye is the biggest challenge we face.”
During the first couple of days in Las Vegas Bruce will have the opportunity to complete an international qualification in Tourism Orientated Policing and when he returns, he will be sharing his experience and knowledge with fellow officers on Skye and across Police Scotland.