Christmas crackdown on booze-fuelled crime in Suffolk

A STAGGERING snapshot of the problems caused by alcohol has today revealed police made nearly 1,000 booze-related arrests during the last two Decembers.

The 999 suspects were responsible for almost 1,200 offences across Suffolk, according to constabulary figures.

In addition serious violent crime went up by 15pc (214 offences) last December compared to the same period in 2008 (186 offences).

A total of 241 of the crimes leading up to the last two Christmas' and New Year's Eves were caused by alcohol.

Officers said December sees a sharp spike in violent offences, which then reduce considerably in January.

As part of their Staysafe campaign police have appealed for revellers to drink sensibly and stay safe during this year's party season.

Suffolk Police's Chief Supt Mark Cordell said: 'As the festive season approaches we are acutely aware that the number of people out celebrating and drinking alcohol drastically increases, which can lead to a sharp increase in this type of crime.

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'Violent crime is a serious offence and can result in serious trauma for the victim and a custodial sentence for the offender. This is often triggered by excessive drinking.

'Increased alcohol can reduce inhibitions, often resulting in people putting themselves at risk and making themselves vulnerable.

'We would like party-goers who are enjoying the Christmas celebrations to have fun and to enjoy the nightlife our county has to offer, but to be sensible, to know their limits, to not drink excessively, to ensure that friends look out for one another and to get home safely.'

Ch Supt Cordell warned officers would be increasing high-visibility patrols in key town centre locations over the festive period and would make early arrests in a bid to stop violence or anti-social behaviour escalating.

In Ipswich officers will be working with other organisations such as the borough council, Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the Ipswich Taxi Marshall Scheme to ensure revellers stay as safe as possible.

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