Suffolk Police to deliver a safer Christmas with its latest campaign
With the festive season now in full swing, Suffolk Constabulary is reminding people to enjoy Christmas while being mindful of the law.
From now until the end of December, police will be delivering a series of crime prevention messages and guidance via its social media channels to encourage all to have a #SaferChristmas. Each press release will be designed on a series of presents with the aim of reminding people to have fun but to also be aware of potential risks.
Christmas time is known for being busy, with a plethora of parties to attend, friends and family to see and, of course, presents to buy too. If the seasonal mood starts to wear thin, then so can the party spirit, meaning - some may leave themselves open to becoming a victim of crime including violent or sexual offences. While on the other hand, it could also lead to some making poor decisions such as drink or drug driving, getting into a fight or damaging property within the community.
The aim of the campaign is to highlight important ways in which people choosing to enjoy the season can take care of their personal safety, as well as in their homes and while they’re shopping online. It also aims to raise awareness of taking care of those who are vulnerable, whether that means by looking after a friend on a night out or through helping an elderly relative to stay safe from pick-pocketing while they’re out shopping in town. Another important strand will focus on domestic abuse and the importance of urging people to speak up in a bid to stop it. The final aspect will serve as a reminder for those who do commit crime and the consequences.
Chief Superintendent Jennifer Eves said: "Christmas is about enjoying the season and spending time with our friends and families. To help people enjoy their celebrations, it is important that the police do everything we can to promote public safety and help to prevent incidents from happening.
"This campaign is aimed at providing advice on the types of incidents we have to deal with during the festive season, and to encourage the public to not only have fun but to also be mindful of their safety and the steps they can take to help prevent crime.
"Too much alcohol can cause problems in lots of different ways. It can fuel emotions and lead to arguments. So we urge everyone to drink responsibly and know their limits. More importantly, if you’re on a night out, whether it’s your friend or a fellow person in the club or bar who is in need of help, try and look out for one another.”
Suffolk Police launched a month-long campaign against driving under the influence last week to remind motorists that deciding to drink or take drugs before getting behind the wheel could cost them dearly. Be sure to arrange an alternative method of getting home after a party as anyone caught faces a minimum 12-18 month ban, however, drink or drug driving could cost you a lot more than your licence.
Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "December is a busy time and we may be in and out of the home more regularly while we’re busy shopping for presents and seeing loved ones. Sadly, it’s also a time for opportunist thieves. So whether you’re popping into town or visiting friends, make sure to follow a few safety precautions in order to try and beat the burglar.”
Top tips for a safer Christmas:
• Pace your drinking and ensure you break up the alcohol with water.
• Keep an eye on your drinks and never leave them unattended. Even soft drinks could get spiked.
• Stick with friends, look out for one another and make sure you all get home safely. Arrange a meeting point and rendezvous times in case you get separated.
• Pre-book safe transport home and do not accept lifts from strangers. Save the number of a licensed taxi firm in your mobile phone. Always check the driver's identification and never get into an unlicensed taxi.
• Avoid walking alone and never take short cuts through dark alleys or large open spaces.
• Keep some cash on you in case you lose your purse or wallet.
• Getting behind the wheel after drinking can have tragic consequences. The advice is simple, don’t drink and drive.
• Don’t let thieves steal your Christmas – keep vehicles and homes secure, and ensure valuables are out of sight.
• Keep your PIN number safe; do not disclose to anyone or carry with your card. If you see someone acting suspicious and hanging around an ATM, cancel the transaction and use another cashpoint.