Making progress in cutting crime this Christmas
As we approach 2010, I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. My staff and I are working hard to ensure that you are able to enjoy a safe and happy time and, as you know, we are running a number of operations directed at reducing theft and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour relating to the festive celebrations. I am already encouraged by the results of these, which show neighbourhood officers making a positive impact with our young people. The majority of young people have been good-spirited and polite, with a small minority in possession of alcohol that my officers confiscated and contacted their parents about. By intervening early in the evening, it helps to prevent situations that might develop into anti-social behaviour later in the evening. I’m sure many would agree a phone call from the police asking you to come and collect your drunken teenager is preferable to getting a call stating they have been arrested and are in police custody for committing damage. It goes to show the responsibilities we all share to keep the district, and each other safe. Pubs, clubs and off-licences also have a big responsibility, both legally and morally, to ensure they do not serve drunk people, and do not serve alcohol to underage residents. I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of licensees in the district are very responsible and work closely with my licensing officer, PC Julian Postlethwaite, towards a safe night-time economy. If you are going out to welcome in the New Year with a bang, remember to appoint a designated driver, or book a taxi well in advance. Starting the new year in custody, possibly with a serious charge because of drink-driving, is not what any one wants to do. It just remains for me to pass on my very best wishes to you and yours for 2010.