Police gearing up for one of the busiest nights of the year are reminding people to stay safe as they celebrate the season.
The last Friday before Christmas, this year December 20, is always a popular night in the area’s pubs and clubs as people get paid and go out celebrating. Sadly though it also sees an increase in calls to service for the police as officers deal with alcohol-related incidents.
Chief Superintendent Alison Jackson, Local Policing Commander, said: “We understand that people are keen to enjoy a night out with family, friends or colleagues and everyone should be able to do that safely.
“Every year we see an increase in calls to our control room. Many of those calls are alcohol-related and could be avoided.
“We’d appeal to everyone to remember the basics of: drinking safely, watching out for those you’re out with, ensuring you have a plan in place on how to get home and if trouble starts, don’t get involved.
“Nobody wants their night out to end in our cells or even a hospital visit.
“Our officers on patrol want to see people enjoying the festivities not engaging in dangerous behaviour that could harm themselves or others.”
During Friday December 21 last year the police saw an increase of nearly 20 per cent in 999 calls compared to the average Friday during the month. There was also an increase of 23 per cent in 101 calls, putting extra pressure on our call taking staff.
For the period between December 21 and 25, 2018 there were 68 violent crimes recorded which involved alcohol.