Don’t end your cel­e­bra­tions in a cell or hospi­tal

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Chief In­spec­tor John Frayne

THIS week if you have been en­joy­ing our night­time econ­omy or shop­ping in Ash­ford you will have no­ticed more po­lice of­fi­cers and Po­lice Com­mu­nity Sup­port Of­fi­cers vis­i­ble on the streets. This is linked to our polic­ing op­er­a­tion in­tended to re­duce crime and keep peo­ple safe at Christ­mas. His­tor­i­cally the last Thurs­day night be­fore peo­ple break up for Christ­mas is a par­tic­u­larly busy time with emer­gency ser­vices ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot more calls to in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence and in­jury. As you would ex­pect my ad­vice is en­joy your­selves but get a non-drinker to do your driv­ing and don’t get into con­fronta­tions, which lead to vi­o­lence. A mo­ment’s thought­less­ness could lead to spending Christ­mas in hospi­tal or a cell with all the un­pleas­ant reper­cus­sions for your­selves, friends and fam­ily. The snow has led to blocked roads in the Ten­ter­den area and ad­di­tional calls for as­sis­tance with many po­lice staff not be­ing able to get to their nor­mal place of duty. How­ever, our op­er­at­ing prac­tice of re­port­ing for duty at our near­est po­lice sta­tion cut in and at Ash­ford I ac­tu­ally have more staff to­day than nor­mal. Those of­fi­cers will be de­ployed to an­swer calls for as­sis­tance and sup­port lo­cal crime re­duc­tion ini­tia­tives. In ad­di­tion to manag­ing calls for as­sis­tance I have de­ployed of­fi­cers to ar­rest of­fend­ers for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. It may seem strange that at a time like Christ­mas and when ma­jor sport­ing events take place (of­ten the two co­in­cide), those with a propen­sity to vi­o­lence lose their in­hi­bi­tions due to drink or emo­tional over­load and re­vert to their true na­ture of­ten do­ing se­ri­ous harm with last­ing con­se­quences for them and those they pur­port to care for. My mes­sage is – don’t do it. Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is of­ten about the bully in in­ad­e­quate peo­ple com­ing out un­der pres­sure. Get­ting your­self drunk and hurt­ing some­one weaker than you is a de­spi­ca­ble thing with af­ter­ef­fects that stay with chil­dren and the in­jured part­ners for life. Many of you won’t know but women in par­tic­u­lar are as­saulted many times be­fore re­port­ing it. We will al­ways ad­vise the in­jured to pros­e­cute and sup­port them re­mov­ing them­selves from the cir­cum­stances of dan­ger but this may be a long process. This year we have a spe­cial op­er­a­tion on­go­ing over Christ­mas com­pris­ing po­lice, so­cial ser­vices, hous­ing and our pri­mary care trust in joint in­ter­ven­tion teams who at­tempt to re­solve or com­mence a res­o­lu­tion to prob­lems when they oc­cur in ad­di­tion to mak­ing any nec­es­sary emer­gency in­ter­ven­tions. For those of you of good­will and sober dis­po­si­tion have a peace­ful and Merry Christ­mas. Any­one else, watch your step, be­cause we will be!

Ch Insp John Frayne

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