Have a safe night out in Ipswich with PD Morse
Police are conducting an evening of targeted engagement with revellers in the night-time economy in Ipswich.
The initiative will look to engage with those who frequent the town’s bars, clubs and eateries by engaging with people on Saturday 28 September in the Arras Square, Cattle Market and Cardinal Park areas of Ipswich from 8pm until 4am.
It will see police, including Community Engagement Officers and officers from licensing talking to people who are on an evening out advising them of the importance of keeping themselves and their friends safe while enjoying their night out. The Ipswich town pastors, borough council community safety officers and Ipswich Central street rangers will also be present.
To support the engagement Suffolk Constabulary’s furry friend and force mascot PD Morse will also be out with the police with the aim of encouraging people to come and talk to the officers.
Supported via social media, crime prevention messages will feature with the hashtag ‘AfterNightfall’ to help highlight the potential problems people may encounter if they drink too much, don’t plan ahead or don’t take care of their valuables.
- Don’t drink to excess;
- Stay with friends;
- Plan your journey home;
- Keep valuables and phones safe.
The event on 28 September will be the first off two or three similar engagement sessions in the Ipswich night-time economy over the coming months.
Inspector Becky Kidd-Stanton from said: "While having a good time is top of the agenda for us, reckless behaviour, such as drinking too much, can impair a person’s judgement and have serious consequences. We want everyone to avoid situations where they may not necessarily appreciate that they could be vulnerable.
"There are simple measures to ensure you enjoy your night – stick with friends and consider using the taxi marshals* in the town centre to get home safely.
"We also want to people to look after their valuables - keep them in pocket or handbag out of sight. Criminals committing robbery will usually target lone victims with a valuable item, such as a phone, clearly visible.
"Additionally, we hope to engage with plenty of students on the night as well. The end of September is a key week for ‘freshers’ who maybe unfamiliar with Ipswich and who are finding their feet around the town. Many will be entering the night-time economy in Ipswich for the first time so we want to get the message through to them as well.
"We want to ensure everyone stays safe especially when they are out visiting busy pubs and clubs. So our message is enjoy yourself, be aware and plan ahead - don’t let over indulgence spoil the fun.”
Councillor Alasdair Ross, Ipswich Borough Council's Community Protection portfolio-holder said: "The safety of people in Ipswich is very important to us, especially at night when people are more vulnerable, so additional engagement alongside other provisions, such as effective policing, secure parking, Street Rangers and the use of Taxi Marshals, is great to see.
This event and the recent renewal of the Purple Flag award, a national accreditation for towns offering a safe evening and night time economy, shows the continued work Ipswich Borough Council and its partners are doing to ensure the town remains a safe place for everyone to enjoy a night out."
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, said: "It’s great to see a thriving night-time economy in our towns but it’s equally important that everyone stays safe so I am very pleased to see this additional engagement by officers in Ipswich.
"I financially support the Town Pastors and the Taxi Marshals through my commission budget and I know both make a terrific difference in our county town on a Friday and Saturday night, supporting the Constabulary to keep us all safe.
"My message to revellers is enjoy yourself, stay safe and look after each other.”
Please use the following advice to help stay safe.
- Try to avoid using your phone outside in public. If you are on the phone, it is visible and you are less likely to be aware of someone approaching. Try to make calls prior to leaving your location. If you do need to make or take an urgent call, consider stopping somewhere safe and stand with your back to a wall or shopfront so you can continue to monitor your surroundings. Walk with friends if possible. Make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of a night. Arrange a meeting point and rendezvous times in case you get separated.
- Book your taxi before you go out. 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.
- Walk in busy areas where there are lots of people. Avoid shortcuts through alleyways, towpaths and parks, especially at night.
- Be mindful that excessive drinking of alcohol can potentially make people vulnerable to becoming victims of crime or prompt poor decision making. Don’t be tempted to drink too much before the night begins.
- Register your phone at www.immobilise.com If it is stolen, update your provider and Immobilise immediately to increase the opportunity for offenders to be caught.
- Store an ICE (in case of emergency) number in your phone and on paper in case your phone is stolen.
- Keep an eye on your drinks and never leave them unattended. Even soft drinks could get spiked.
- Getting behind the wheel after drinking can have tragic consequences, the advice is simple, don’t drink and drive.
More guidance on personal safety can be found on the Suffolk police website under the First Principal banner
*Funded by Ipswich Central, Ipswich Borough Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Taxi Marshal service operates between 11.30pm and 4.30am every weekend of the year. The Service has been in operation since 2013 at the Old Cattle Market bus station.