Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has today (2 Dec 2014) launched a new sensible drinking campaign urging people to take their personal safety seriously on a night out.
At ‘The Walkabout’ in Market Place, Derby, Mr Charles explained to partners and police colleagues that the ‘Safe Night Out’ campaign will be rolled out across the county to persuade people to take greater responsibility of their welfare when frequenting the county’s nightlife this Christmas and beyond.
The Commissioner is working closely with a variety of different organisations including health professionals, licensing authorities and community safety partners across Derbyshire to tackle alcohol misuse and reduce its impact on criminality. However, much of the alcohol-related offending that takes place on a Friday or Saturday night could be avoided if people took more control of their own safety which means limiting their consumption of alcohol to a level that enables them to remain rational.
“Many instances of violence, theft and sexual assault could be prevented if people refused to put themselves in a vulnerable or precarious position,” said Commissioner Charles.
“In reality, you are far less likely to become a victim of robbery or theft if you have all your senses and are taking the necessary steps to keep your valuables secure. This means keeping handbags, wallets and mobile phones on you at all times rather than leaving them on tables or in unattended coat pockets and planning a safe journey home.
“Excessive alcohol hinders functionality and impairs our ability to make rational, safe decisions. Lots of people take risks they would never normally take simply because alcohol has reduced their self-awareness. The message to partygoers this Christmas is simple: eat, drink and be merry but ensure your night out is a memorable one – for the right reasons.
“Derbyshire is a safe place to live and for that we are very, very grateful. But where there is alcohol and nightlife there are inevitable problems. Few towns and cities can escape the negative effects of irresponsible drinking including crime, hospital admissions and dysfunction. We are doing our best to reduce alcohol-related crime in the long-term but we need the public to help us prevent the preventable.”
Since the Alcohol Summit in 2013, Commissioner Charles has been working closely with a host of partners to advance responsible drinking initiatives within the night-time economy and expand support services for those with reliance issues.
This includes funding a campaign called ‘Intoxicated’ which has delivered training to licence holders and retail staff across the county on legislation which prohibits them from selling alcohol to someone already intoxicated and helping them to increase their skills on how to refuse to serve someone.
Meanwhile, in both Derby and Chesterfield, a joint approach to alcohol-related crime has been implemented which is known as the Cardiff Model. This system has facilitated the exchange of information between hospital emergency departments and the police to help police better resource the night-time economy and establish a clear picture of risk. This scheme has also been backed up by practical initiatives to deter and prevent people from drinking to excess.
Commissioner Charles said: “Irresponsible drinking impacts on us all. People who don’t feel safe visiting our night-time economy will stop frequenting it which is bad for retailers and bad for the economy. This is why it is so important for licence holders to see the bigger picture and to understand that their obligations not to sell alcohol to people in a drunken state are not only necessary for legal compliance but also for the long-term health of their business.”
Safe Night Out will be the umbrella under which the Commissioner’s work to address excessive alcohol use is delivered. This reflects one of the key objectives in his police and crime plan: to encourage further investigation into the issues surrounding drink-fuelled crime and harm and exploring ways of intervening early.
He also announced his intention to appoint a project coordinator to bring together all of the work on alcohol misuse to guide future direction.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 2nd December 2014