Launch of #SaferChristmas campaign
The festive season is fast approaching and as we gear up for the holiday merriment, Suffolk Constabulary is reminding people to keep safe and within the law.
From the beginning of December, police will be delivering a series of crime prevention messages and guidance via social media to encourage everyone to have a #SaferChristmas. Each will be designed on a jolly Christmas jumper, with contrasting images of unwanted behaviour to help demonstrate potential dangers.
Christmas is a time of celebration, to have fun and catch up with family and friends, but the highs can easily turn into lows if the party spirit gets out of hand. Unfortunately, for some, letting their hair down may lead to people losing their inhibitions and taking more risks leaving themselves vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, including violence or sexual offences. For others, it may result in poor decisions, such as drink or drug driving, anti-social behaviour or even serious assault.
Supported by #ChristmasJumper, the aim of the campaign is to highlight tips on personal safety, including online protection, home security and urge people to think of the welfare of others, particularly those who are vulnerable. It also serves as an important warning for those committing offences that there can be severe consequences.
Chief Superintendent David Skevington said: “Policing isn’t just about enforcement, it’s also about preventing incidents from happening. This campaign is aimed at providing an insight into the types of incidents we typically deal with during the festive season, and encourage the public to be more aware of crime prevention.
“Excessive alcohol can have a harmful effect on people, intensifying emotions that lead to conflicts with families, friends and strangers; or lowering inhibitions that make them more vulnerable and susceptible to criminal activity. I would urge everyone to drink responsibly. If you’re going out, stay with your friends and look out for each other.
“Christmas is notoriously a busy time for us all, including for thieves. We know a high percentage of crime is opportunistic, and can be prevented by taking some simple safety precautions. Whether you’re going out or staying in, keep yourselves safe this festive season.”
Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “I love Christmas, it’s a time of great fun but for some it can end up in a situation that is far from funny.
“When excess alcohol is involved there is a real risk that a night out with friends can end up with someone becoming a victim of crime. I urge everyone to think about their personal safety and the safety of their friends during festive celebrations this year.
“Every year police time is spent picking up the pieces, let’s try to make a change this year. It’s really important that we all take responsibility for our own actions and are aware of the damage that drunken behaviour causes in our communities. My message is two-fold, have fun but keep safe.”
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.