Christmas crackdown on drunks
POLICE and councils in North Devon have launched a Christmas Crackdown on Alcohol campaign to ensure that celebrations are not marred by louts.
Drunk and disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated, they warn, and offenders might end up being arrested and getting a criminal records.
Leaflets detailing the risks of alcohol consumption will be distributed to warn people of the consequences if they don’t drink in moderation.
Sgt Mark Harper said: “We are not stopping people from drinking and having a good time, but asking them to drink in moderation and to take responsibility for their own behaviour and its impact on others.
“We will be warning people who don’t know their limits where it could lead. For example, we will be talking to taxi drivers and bus companies to find and target groups in fancy dress to give them the message that if they don’t behave, whatever costume they’re wearing, it won’t look so amusing if they’re behind bars.
Initiatives planned during the campaign, part of Operation Yuletide,include street patrols by members of PACT - Partners and Community Together - -to target drunks early in the evening and remove them from the area to prevent crime later on.
Pubs will be playing the Three Strikes and You Are Out DVD on plasma TV screens to publicise the football-style referee scheme which uses red and yellow cards to warn troublemakers.
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PC Paul Daw, neighbourhood beat manager for the night tine economy, said: “We will be targeting people over the limit and what we call pre-loaders - people who drink alcohol before going out.
“We will also be using our new Alcoblows device, which detects alcohol on the breath to test people out on the streets and help protect young people from harming themselves or others while under the influence of alcohol. Any drunken people found on the streets will be dispersed or detained.”
North Devon police chief Supt Kevin Harris said: “Local police will have a high visible presence this Christmas out on the streets explaining the risks of drinking and giving out warnings now so people know what they can expect if they engage in drunken and disorderly behaviour.
“This is a time of year when people need to be aware of their limits and to particularly think about the impact of their drinking on themselves, their family and the wider community.
“We want everyone to be able to go out and enjoy a good night out and will not tolerate drunken, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime.”
The campaign is being backed by local councils as the Safer North Devon group.
Manager Amanda Palmer said: “North Devon is a great place to live, work and visit and we want to keep it that way, particularly over the holiday season.
“Police, councils and partners, as Safer North Devon, will be working hard with colleges and other local voluntary organisations to ensure the Christmas Crackdown on Alcohol campaign is a success.
“We want to reduce the impact of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour so everyone can enjoy all that North Devon has to offer for a great night out.”