Think Safe Drink Safe this Christmas

Posted 14/11/2016 11:08:48

Today marks the official launch of the 2016 Think Safe, Drink Safe Christmas Campaign for North Wales - this year’s focus is to encourage revellers to have a good time and look out for their mates over the party season.

The campaign – which is being coordinated by partner agencies across the region, is aimed at ensuring visitors to town’s across the region can enjoy a safe and relaxed night out during the festive period. It also aims to promote safe and responsible drinking and prevent and reduce levels of alcohol fuelled violent crime and anti-social behaviour across North Wales at this time of year.

During this busy period the NHS have to deal with an additional number of alcohol related incidents that put added pressure on already over-stretched services.

It is also one of the busiest periods for Emergency Services. Between December 18th 2015 and 2nd of January 2016, North Wales Police received 3,714 ‘999’ calls and 12,315 ‘101’ calls. Of all the crime reported to police in December 2015, 9.5% was alcohol-related.

During the campaign there will be a drive to encourage the public to visit http://www.drinkwisewales.org.uk and also to know their score by taking a new interactive quiz on the North Wales Police website http://www.north-wales.police.uk

Conwy Council Chief Executive, Iwan Davies, who leads the Alcohol Harm reduction group, said: “We know that Christmas and the New Year is an extremely busy time. We want visitors to towns and villages across North Wales to enjoy themselves but we frequently find that people drink too much during the festive season. Our aim is to encourage people to have a good time but to drink responsibly. Excessive drinking can affect behaviour and lead to serious consequences. This year our trading standards teams across North Wales will be working with licenced premises to ensure that they don’t serve alcohol to those who are drunk. The message is simple - anti social behaviour and violence will not be tolerated and anyone behaving irresponsibly will be dealt with appropriately and quickly ensuring that North Wales is a safe place to come and enjoy a night out.”

Superintendent Jane Banham of North Wales Police, said: “We want people to enjoy the festive season, but we know from experience that at this time of year some people will come to harm due to alcohol excess and it is the emergency services and local councils who are left picking up the pieces.

“The aim of this campaign is to ensure that those who consume and sell alcohol take responsibility for their actions. Our teams will be distributing cards to encourage safe consumption of alcohol and working with our licensed premises to ensure safe and enjoyable evenings for all.

“We make a significant contribution to keeping our town centres safe so people can enjoy a good night out, but we must get the message across that people need to take greater responsibility for themselves and their friends to reduce the likelihood of them being injured, becoming a victim of crime, or being involved in violence through excessive drinking.

“North Wales Police, working with our partners, will ensure that pubs, clubs, shops and drinkers are complying with the law. Those who don’t will be dealt with robustly. 

“The message is simple – think safe, drink safe.”

Dr Rob Perry, Emergency Department Consultant said: “Over the Festive period we know we will see a significant number of people who are either suffering from the effects of excess alcohol, or who have been injured as a result of accidents where alcohol has played a part.  However these people do not often need the treatment offered by a major hospital emergency department.

“Putting in place support so that people can be checked out and cared for ‘on the spot’ means they can get the right level of care more quickly, helps reduce disruption in the Emergency Department and means my colleagues can concentrate on looking after those people with serious illness or injury who need urgent, possibly life-saving, care.”

All agencies will be using social media to help raise awareness of the campaign and social media users are encouraged to follow the hashtag #ThinkSafeDrinkSafe

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