Additional police on duty in Suffolk towns ahead of busy weekend for pubs and clubs
- Credit: IAN BURT
Additional police will be on duty in towns across Suffolk this weekend, on what is expected to be one of the busiest weekends of the year for pubs and clubs.
Officers will be working with other local organisations including licensees, health professionals, taxi companies, and town pastors, to help reduce the chances of people putting themselves at risk of becoming either a victim or perpetrator of crime due to the amount of alcohol they've consumed.
Chief Superintendent Jon Brighton said: 'We will have extra police officers on duty this weekend to help make sure that our towns are as a safe as possible for people out celebrating Christmas.
'Unfortunately people do sometimes become aggressive as a result of excess alcohol, or end up doing things they wouldn't usually do if sober. We're therefore asking people to think again before they drink another drop, to look after themselves and each other, and to respect our officers and others who work in the night time economy in order to keep people safe.'
As well as having addition police officers on duty, Suffolk Police's Night-time Economy Team (NTE) is hosting two Vulnerability Impact Nights (VINs), one in Ipswich on Friday and one in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
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Acting Chief Inspector for Community Safety, Paul Crick, said: 'We will be working with our partnership agencies to ensure that those who find themselves in vulnerable positions are kept safe for the rest of the evening, whether that is by helping them sober up, making sure they get home safe, or organising medical treatment. Mobile police stations will also be in place with people on hand to provide bottles of water, blankets, and first aid.'
'The more you drink, the more vulnerable you become, so we'd ask you to think again before having that extra drink. We're also asking people to follow our basic safety advice, such as ensuring you have booked transport home, sticking together with friends, and never leaving your drinks unattended.'
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Officers on patrol will be wearing body-cameras which will record behaviour and will be looking to highlight a person's vulnerability personally to them, by showing them the footage at a later date in the presence of a health worker.
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk said: 'Speaking to officers across the county it's quite shocking to realise just how much crime and anti-social behaviour is alcohol fuelled, particularly at Christmas.
'So much police time is spent picking up the pieces that drunken behaviour causes, we really must take more responsibility for our own actions.
'I have allocated funding to various night-time economy projects such as taxi-marshalling and Best Bar None to keep our towns safe.
'It is important that we support the local economy to make Suffolk towns a safe place to enjoy an evening out.'