Police warn public not to let their night-out end up with them behind bars

EXTRA officers will be on patrol across the county in the run up to Christmas.

Pubs and clubs in Cumbria's town centres become busier over the Christmas period and with only a few days to go, officers will be out on patrol focusing on defusing incidents before they escalate into violence.

Extra officers will be out on patrol including ‘Festive Friday’- the last Friday before Christmas, which has traditionally been a popular night out in towns across Cumbria, and can experience a corresponding rise in alcohol fuelled violence and disorder.

All three Neighbourhood Policing Teams (Barrow, Kendal and Ulverston and Lakes) have been working with licensees in their areas throughout the year in a bid to decrease the amount of alcohol-related incidents that officers have to deal with and Christmas is no exception.

Police in South Cumbria will also be issuing out Section 27 banning orders to those who Police feel need to be taken away from the town centres.

Kendal Police will be issuing Christmas card reminders to the worst offenders who are on Barwatch.

Inspector Paul Latham, Kendal NPT said: “The cards are there to remind those that are on Barwatch that they will be recognised by officers and security staff and will be refused entry. An attempt to gain entry to licensed premises on the Barwatch scheme can see their ban being extended.”

Officers will be working with licensed premises to try and prevent people who are already drunk being served further alcohol. Pubwatch will also continue to inform local licensees about those who have been banned, especially for violent disorder.

Posters displaying this advice are displayed in local shops and bars to prompt Christmas shoppers and revellers. 

In South Cumbria, all the Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) will be deploying officers to known hotspots throughout the South Cumbria area so if situations arise, Police are nearby to deal with it.

Inspector Mike O’Hagan, Barrow NPT, said: “We want people to act in a responsible manner and enjoy the festivities.

“We will be working to prevent and detect all offences that are committed.  I would like to think that the public will help us by encouraging their friends to behave sensibly and refrain from consuming too much alcoholic drink. Please do not spoil your own and other people’s Christmas.”

This year police are promoting our ‘One punch can change two lives’ campaign which reminds party-goers of the consequences of losing control through alcohol consumption. 

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said: “Our personal safety campaign was launched at the end of November to encourage everyone to enjoy themselves safely. This is even more important as the Christmas holidays approach, with more people being off work and spending more time socialising with friends and family.

“Our aim is to provide a safe environment for everyone to enjoy themselves over the Christmas period. It is only a minority who become involved in violence or disorder and by providing extra officers, we are able to monitor situations and intervene before they escalate.

“We will not tolerate people who put others at risk of harm by engaging in violent behaviour. Everyone in Cumbria has a right to socialise with friends and family without fear of intimidation or violence.

“At this time of year police officers do come into contact with people who normally don’t get into trouble. They may have over indulged and in a situation which has escalated quickly, before they know it are in trouble with the police.

“We want everyone to enjoy the festive season in a safe and responsible manner. Don’t end up with a Christmas of regret.

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