With only ten days to go, officers will target busy town centres and focus on defusing incidents before they escalate into violence. They will work with licensed premises to try and prevent people who are already drunk being served further alcohol.
This will be particularly noticeable on ‘Festive Friday’ – the last Friday before Christmas – which is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year for pubs and clubs across the county.
Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “Reducing violent crime is one of the top priorities for local communities and everyone in Cumbria has a right to enjoy a night out this Christmas without intimidation or the fear of violence.
“We launched a personal safety campaign at the beginning of December to encourage people to enjoy themselves but keep hold of their senses – and this is particularly important over the next ten days as people finish work and spend more time socialising and drinking with friends.
“Christmas is a time when everyone indulges but, from a policing point of view, it is a time that we come into contact with people who would not normally get into trouble. People can sometimes get carried away and drink too much, lose control of their senses and end up getting involved in violence or disorder – much to their horror the next day.
“Officers will be out on the county’s streets in the lead up to Christmas to try and help reduce incidents of this nature through early intervention and targeted, intelligence-led policing in a bid to stop incidents escalating into violence but we are urging everybody to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them by enjoying themselves– without going too far.
“When you think about the consequences of drinking too much and losing your senses it’s just not worth it. You can ruin your Christmas before it’s begun by getting arrested, being sent home or being banned from all pubs and clubs in the area.”
Posters that highlight the consequences of people losing control of their senses are being displayed in shops, pubs and clubs around the county and short adverts are being played throughout December on CFM Radio.
As part of the ongoing personal safety ‘Keys, Money, Phone, Plans to Get Home’ campaign, police officers will continue to hand out information in credit card size that prompts people to consider how they will be getting home and provides a space to write an ‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) contact number, should they lose their mobile phones. With support from Crime and Reduction Partnerships from around the county, officers will also be issuing free ‘spikeys’ – plastic stoppers that prevent bottled drinks from being spiked and personal attack alarms in some of the bigger areas such as Carlisle, Brampton, Penrith, Workington, Whitehaven, Kendal and Barrow.
The campaign encourages people planning a night out to follow this advice:
Think: Keys, money, phone, plans to get home?
Stick with your friends and look out for each other
Stash some cash in case you lose your purse or wallet
Pre-book a taxi home
Don’t make yourself vulnerable by getting too drunk
Store an ICE (in case of emergency) number in your phone