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14 December 2010, 06:05
Christmas revellers in Surrey are being asked to make sure they remember their night out for the right reasons and act responsibly as a crackdown on drunken disorder and violent behaviour during the festive period launches this week.
As the party season gets into full swing, lots of people will be heading out to the county’s pubs and clubs to celebrate but Surrey Police are warning that any alcohol related disorder or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
As part of a campaign that will run over the Christmas and New Year period, uniformed officers will be carrying out extra high-visibility patrols, focusing on busy town centres including Guildford, Woking and Redhill, to encourage people to enjoy themselves responsibly.
In addition, Surrey Police’s licensing officers and undercover Alcohol Enforcement Team (AET) will be visiting licensed premises to ensure venues are operating within the law and not serving people who are already drunk or underage.
A series of posters titled “A night to remember? Make sure it’s for the right reasons. Please enjoy your night responsibly” are going up in town centres near pubs, clubs, railway stations, bus shelters and busy shopping areas.
Advertising vans with the posters featured on a digital screen will be parked in busy areas on the weekend evenings when more people are out drinking.
In addition, posters will also be going up in pub and club washrooms and will feature on beer runners while text messages highlighting the campaign will be sent via Bluetooth to those inside busy venues.
The campaign will be supported by independent Street Angels/Pastors schemes in some areas working in partnership with Surrey Police.
The volunteers will provide a visible presence in busy areas where they will hand out lollies and water to revellers which has had a positive impact on revellers’ behaviour when used before.
Officers will be operating a zero-tolerance approach towards any alcohol-fuelled violence and offenders could face arrest, a ban from licensed premises under the PubWatch Surrey scheme and/or a criminal record.
Licensed premises have also been issued with posters and been given advice on how they can help the police by refusing to serve alcohol to under-18s or anyone they suspect is already drunk. If they are caught, they could face prosecution, a heavy fine or face losing their licence.
Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens said:
"We would like everyone celebrating to have a night to remember but for all the right reasons.
Most people visiting our town centres are well behaved but a minority can overdo it and ruin the party for others. Everyone has the right to enjoy a festive night out without intimidation or the fear of violence.
We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but we are asking everyone to enjoy themselves responsibly. The warning should go out to anyone involving themselves in violence over the Christmas period that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
Anyone using the festivities as an excuse for causing trouble runs the risk of not only being arrested and waking up in a prison cell, but also faces getting a criminal record and a ban from pubs, bars and clubs in their area.
We are asking licencees across the county to show their support for our campaign by ensuring they operate their premises responsibly too."
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