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Police aim to ensure a safe Christmas for all 5 December 2008

WPC on dutyA HIGH-VISIBILITY police presence will be deployed throughout the Island in a bid to maintain community safety during the festive period.

Officers from all five neighbourhood policing teams will be out on patrol to ensure that people remain secure in their homes, at the shops, on the roads and on nights out. Resources will be prioritised to meet peak demand in commercial and night time entertainment areas over Christmas and New Year.

Increased foot patrols will be supported by intelligence-led policing that engages with the local community and the Constabulary’s many partner agencies. The aim is to reduce crime – in particular incidents of shoplifting, public disorder and drink-driving – so that residents can enjoy the celebrations in safe environment.

Members of the public are being urged to play their part by remaining vigilant and taking some basic precautions. Locking doors and windows and keeping valuables secure on nights out can prevent a high proportion of the opportunist crime that takes place.

And as the office party season gets into full swing, the police are joining forces with the Department of Transport to highlight the anti drink-drive message. Posters and cards have been distributed to licensed premises to back up the high-profile media campaign launched earlier this month.

Deputy Chief Constable Gary Roberts said:

‘There is absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving. People must not get behind the wheel if they have had a drink as the consequences can be devastating.’

Motorists are also being advised to drive sensibly in wintry conditions and pay particular attention to their vehicle’s headlights, tyres and brakes.

Acting Inspector Steve Maddocks said:

‘All the neighbourhood policing teams want to ensure that residents enjoy Christmas and remain safe whether they are at home or out shopping, socialising or driving. We would urge party-goers to drink responsibly and take public transport or a taxi home at the end of the night. People should also take extra care with their valuables and not leave bags, wallets, purses or mobile phones unattended. A lot of crime is opportunist and easily preventable. Officers will be stepping up patrols within their local communities over the next few weeks, focussing attention on shopping areas, pubs and nightclubs to prevent any problems from occurring. The bottom line is that we want everybody to have a great time and to enjoy themselves in a safe and responsible manner.’

Police officer on patrolAssistance is also available for anybody struggling to cope with the additional pressures of the festive period.

A/I Maddocks said:

‘Christmas is an emotionally fraught time of year for many people and domestic situations can become more volatile, particularly if alcohol is involved. Anybody who is subject to any form of domestic violence should contact the police immediately. We can then take appropriate action and, where necessary, put people in touch with agencies that can help, such as Victim Support. Nobody should sit and suffer in silence – not just at Christmas, but any time of the year.’

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