Festive warning to Lowestoft revellers

Police chiefs have issued a festive warning to revellers in Lowestoft.

Extra patrols are to be out in force and police want people to think before they drink so their Christmas isn't ruined by alcohol-related crime.

The latest Suffolk-wide figures show that the number of violent crimes involving alcohol or drugs increases from the second weekend of December, coinciding with the Christmas party season, before reducing again in January.

In December 2009, 214 crimes involving serious violence in a public place were recorded in Suffolk; 125 of which were alcohol-related. In December 2008, a total of 186 crimes of this nature were recorded, with 116 of these being alcohol-related.

In December 2008, 513 arrests were made for 603 offences in which the offender was deemed to be under the influence of alcohol, compared with 496 arrests for 574 offences last year.

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Det Insp Darrell Skuse told The Journal: 'There has been a decrease in the number of the most serious violent offences in Waveney but throughout the Christmas and New Year period there will be an increase in the number of police patrols to try to ensure all those coming into Lowestoft can have a safe and enjoyable time. Traditionally this is one of the busiest times of year for officers and a lot of work is being done by police and partner agencies, such as the district council and licensees, to try to reduce offences of violence linked to the night time economy.'

Police have unveiled a number of practical steps to reduce the risk of rape/sexual assault. These include: Plan your journey or night out; Make sure that someone knows where you are going and what time you will be home; Arrange your journey to and from home; When going to a pub, club or party avoid going alone; Appoint a nominated drinks-watcher; Remember, alcohol does affect your actions and your reactions as well as your ability to be alert; Stay aware of what is going on around you and away from situations that you do not feel comfortable with; Never accept a drink from anyone you do not completely trust; Do not share or exchange drinks; Don't leave your drink unattended, even when going to the toilet; Consider very carefully whether you should leave the pub, club or party with someone you have just met; If you begin to feel really drunk after only a drink or two seek help from a trusted friend; You must be sure you have absolute trust in the person you seek help from.

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