Christmas is a time of fun and merriment, and I am a great supporter of that. I love the festive season and enjoy having more time to spend with family and friends, but for too many people Christmas merriment fuelled by alcohol can seriously detract from the goodwill of the season.
Alcohol, if taken in excess, can play a very destructive part in Christmas celebrations and that is why I have combined road safety and the night-time economy as my Passmore Priority for December.
Keeping safe when you are out late doing your Christmas shopping or enjoying a festive get-together is so important at this time of year. The advice is simple, keep together and look out for each other. Make sure you know how you are getting home and don’t ever get into a cab unless you know it is a registered vehicle.
I want people of all ages to enjoy their Christmas and New Year celebrations so I have supported various initiatives to support my Passmore Priority and to keep everyone safe in Suffolk this year.
For people enjoying an evening out in Ipswich, I have allocated some funding to support a taxi marshalling scheme. Marshalls will work on Friday and Saturday night to help reduce violent crime and anti-social behaviour by moving people through and out of town via a safe marshalling service in Ipswich. The scheme is jointly organised and funded by Ipswich Central, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Constabulary.
As always, one of the biggest safety messages at this time is the danger of driving under the influence of drink because drink driving ruins lives. The statistics are shocking; on average, 3,000 people a year are killed or seriously injured in drink-drive collision and one in seven deaths on the roads involves a driver who is over the legal limit. I find it really staggering that despite the obvious dangers and the huge amount of publicity, every year drivers risk their lives and the lives of others by driving under the influence of alcohol.
I am encouraging pubs, bars and restaurants to play their part by working with partners to extend the Best Bar None scheme. This innovative scheme encourages and enhances the town as a safe place. Licensed premises signed up to Best Bar None help to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder in Ipswich town centre and makes the town centre a more pleasant place. My ambition for the new year is extend this scheme to other town centres across the county that would benefit from this s nationally recognised scheme
The Constabulary will be stepping up their efforts to catch anyone drink driving this Christmas and as part of their Christmas campaign, they will be encouraging pubs to take part in a Designated Driver scheme and offer free or discounted soft drinks to drivers during the festive period. The scheme ran very successfully last Christmas and saw pubs offering discounted teas, coffees and soft drinks to their customers in an effort to prevent people from drink driving and I hope that it will be equally successful this year.
I enjoy an evening out as much as anyone and I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from having a good time. I believe Suffolk produces the best food and drink in the country; we have some fantastic restaurant and pubs and we need to support them, but I would ask people to take it easy and make sure that Christmas is a season of goodwill for all.
PCCs One Year On
Police and Crime Commissioners met in London yesterday to mark the first anniversary of their office. Tim spoke to Home Secretary, Theresa May about his work in this first year and discussed wider policing and crime issues with fellow PCCs.
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I hope you find this website useful. We update it regularly with decisions that I have made, meetings that I am involved in and the people I meet. You will find more information about my roles and responsibilities, forthcoming public meetings, press releases, key decisions and how you can request information, have your say and make contact. You can also sign up to receive regular updates on the work of this office, forthcoming events and the policing priorities for Suffolk.
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Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk