DON’T ruin your life during the festive season, instead, be safe this Christmas.
That is the message from West Yorkshire Police to festive revellers, after the force launched its campaign aimed at cutting alcohol-linked theft, domestic abuse, and violence.
Neighbourhood Police officers and volunteers, including Street Angels and Police Community Support Volunteers, are already patrolling Huddersfield town centre to give people information leaflets, ‘drink spikey’ devices and advice on how to stay safe.
The co-ordinated drive has been launched to target offenders and warns of the effects booze can have in making people victims of domestic violence, night-out related violence, theft and one-punch manslaughter.
Women are also being warned of the dangers of putting themselves at risk of falling victim to a sexual offence through consuming excess drink.
Det Chief Insp Mack McManus said: “The Christmas season often sees an increased risk of these offences taking place and excess Christmas alcohol consumption is almost always a key factor.
“Sadly time and again we hear of women who have put themselves at risk on nights out through being too drunk, or of men and women who have lost control and committed acts of violence against their partners or others through too much booze.
“Offences such as one-punch manslaughter clearly demonstrate how a flash of alcohol-fuelled temper can result in life-changing consequences for the victim’s family and the perpetrator left facing years in prison as a result of seeing red.”
Advice for revellers include never leaving drinks unattended as they could be spiked.
People should only use pre-booked taxis or catch hackney taxis from official ranks, and not make themselves vulnerable through drinking too much.
Officers will also be handing out guidance to warn revellers and Christmas shoppers to keep bags and pockets secure to protect against sneak thieves, and also advise about the risks of becoming involved in violence through drink.
Newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “Irresponsible alcohol use can destroy lives. At this time of year, when more people are celebrating the festive season, there is a significant increase in crime and disorder and it takes up a high proportion of police resources in dealing with the consequences of people drinking too much, both on our streets and in homes.”
For more information see www.westyorkshire.police.uk/besafe or follow the dedicated twitter feed at #wypbesafe