Don’t end your celebrations in a cell or hospital
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