Students arriving in Bedfordshire for Freshers Season are being encouraged to Stay Safe.
Bedfordshire Police is working closely with pubs, clubs, restaurants and other night time businesses to make the streets safer for all, with additional officers on duty to meet and greet revellers at some special events to reinforce the message that drunken and disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated.
Officers from Bedfordshire’s Special Constabulary are supporting the initiative, joined by local authority licensing colleagues and street pastors to promote responsible drinking. The force is also working to prevent violent crime aggravated by alcohol being committed, including domestic and child abuse.
Bedfordshire Police Inspector Vicky Miller says the activity, which goes on throughout the year, is raising its profile during Freshers Season and provides officers with the chance to chat with new visitors to the county. She said: “The public and Freshers should feel reassured that their night time experience in any of our towns is one made memorable by a good night out spent with friends eating great food an enjoying responsibly run pubs and clubs. The entertainment venues supporting Freshers events have been risk assessed and we have confidence that students will feel safe.
Freshers Season is part of a national focus on the harm alcohol can cause. Deputy Chief Constable John Fletcher added; “Drinking so much that you can’t think clearly makes you vulnerable and more likely to become a victim of crime, be injured or be involved in violence. Drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour in our pubs, clubs and on our streets is just part of the problem. Nearly 50 per cent of all violent crime is alcohol related. Offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol in nearly half of all incidents of domestic abuse and alcohol plays a part in 25 to 33% of known child abuse cases. Excessive drinking clearly increases your likelihood of committing a crime or becoming a victim.”
Activity and initiatives in specific areas across the county include:
• Combatting anti-social behaviour and nuisance caused by street drinkers in Midland Road, Bedford and seizing their alcohol
• Visiting off-licence premises to seek agreement to positively refuse sales to intoxicated street drinkers
• Monitoring places that are frequented by alcohol users to drink, urinate, sleep or cause unlawful damage and working with local authority to move them on
• BedSafe, LutonSafe and CentralBedSafe operations to target early signs of drunken and rowdy behaviour
• Town centre guardians out on the streets including street pastors, taxi marshals, door and bar staff
• Joint visits with police and local authority licensing teams to problem venues (including takeaway establishments)
• Safety advice to Freshers at Luton University and Bedford College
• Taxi test purchase operation with local authority
• On and Off license test purchasing operations
• Drink drive operation