This weekend marks the start of the party season when revellers will be out in force at many of the county’s bars, clubs and eateries, but Suffolk Constabulary is urging all to know their limits when it comes to consuming alcohol as part of its Christmas safety campaign.
Supported via social media, crime prevention messages will feature on a series of Christmas presents to help highlight the potential dangers whilst still encouraging all to have an enjoyable evening.
The first release in the #SaferChristmas series is aimed at reminding people to be mindful of the risks when it comes to consuming alcohol. It will also highlight that excessive drinking can make people more susceptible to get into arguments, which lead to fights, or make poor decisions, which leave them vulnerable to becoming victims of crime.
While having a good time is top of the agenda for us, reckless drinking or taking drugs can impair a person’s judgement and lead to devastating consequences. It can also increase the risk of sexual assault, to which both men and women can be victims of.
Suffolk Constabulary is also supporting the innovative ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign which helps enable those who feel vulnerable on a night out to discreetly ask pub and club staff for help.
The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing revellers with a discreet phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff should they find themselves in a worrying or intimidating situation.
It is hoped that by ‘asking for Angela’, a person within a club or bar can quickly alert staff and gain their help. Staff will then take the customer to one side and find out more regarding the type of support they need.
Chief inspector Stuart Grimsey said: “The Christmas season for many is about celebration and enjoying the festivities with friends and family, which will often include consuming a few more drinks than you normally would. At the same time however, we want to ensure everyone stays safe especially when they are out visiting busy pubs and clubs. Sadly we see far too many people who drink so much they can’t get themselves home, which can leave them vulnerable to crime.
“There are also those who become aggressive after drinking alcohol which often leads to a visit to a busy accident and emergency department – and for others, spending some of their Christmas in police custody. So our message is to enjoy the season, but don’t let over indulgence spoil the festive fun.”
12 Top tips for a safe night out
• Don’t be tempted to drink too much before the night begins. People who preload are more likely to become involved in violent crime or injure themselves.
• Make sure you have something to eat before a night out and drink water regularly.
• Don’t make yourself vulnerable by getting too drunk – know your limits.
• Stay 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 from friends.
• 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.
• Stash some cash in case you lose your purse or wallet.
• Store an ICE (in case of emergency) number in your phone.
• 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.