POLICE and business leaders in Kendal have launched a light-hearted campaign to urge festive revellers to stay in control this Christmas.

The consequences of drinking excessively are being emphasised on leaflets which advertise a ‘spoof’ hotel, warning people they could end up spending a night in a police cell.

They have been sponsored by Elephant Yard Shopping Centre, Kendal, and are being distributed in pubs, clubs, supermarkets and other public places across south Cumbria.

The spoof describes the Lock ‘Em Inn hotel as ‘convenient accommodation with lots of bars within easy reach of the pubs, clubs and criminal courts’.

Other quirky features promised include a ‘free shuttle bus to the door with a secure cage, ‘all major credit cards and belongings confiscated’, 'CCTV in all rooms and ‘sturdy locks on all rooms as standard’.

Cumbria Police, Business Against Crime South Lakes Partnership (BAC) and Kendal Barwatch are behind the campaign, which aims to highlight the issue of drink-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour.

Inspector Paul Latham, of Kendal Police, said: “The idea is to promote the perils of binge drinking in a humorous and eye-catching way.

“We see too many people who don't know when to stop on a night out.

“They drink too much and get involved in alcohol-related crime, disorder and domestic violence.

“It has a serious message but it’s given in a spoof fashion so that more consideration will be given to it.

“At the end of the day, a criminal record is for life, not just for Christmas.”

Peter Boyd, Business Against Crime South Lakes Partnership chairman, added: “We want people to enjoy themselves, but in a safe, sensible and social manner.”