Residents encouraged to get home safely and have a Christmas to remember
Thursday 4th December, 2008
Arun residents are being urged to make sure they get home safely to open their Christmas presents this festive period by not drinking excessively.
The Arun Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) are launching their ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol and encourage revellers not to ruin their Christmas celebrations.
Eye-catching posters and beermats have been produced encouraging people to plan at the start of an evening how they are going to get home, book a taxi in advance, avoid unprotected sex and warn of the fines they could be faced with for offensive behaviour.
Around 40,000 beermats and 1,000 posters have been distributed to licensed premises throughout the district in the hope of making people think twice about the affect over-indulging could have.
Councillor Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety for Arun District Council and a member of the CDRP, said: “Winter, and the festive period in particular, is renowned as a key time for heightened alcohol consumption. Christmas parties, work do’s and New Year all bring with them the excuse for people to have one festive drink too many.
“We want people to go out and have fun over Christmas, but also to take care of themselves and consider other people. Hopefully the ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign will help to spread this message and everyone in Arun will have a happy and safe Christmas.”
Tackling alcohol misuse is a key target and has been identified as one of its priorities for 2008-11 for all of the Arun CDRP partners, including Arun District Council, Sussex Police, West Sussex Fire and Rescue, West Sussex PCT and the Arun Community Alcohol Liaison Team.
Although overall crime rates in Arun are falling, Sussex Police have received over 100 calls in the last three months regarding incidents related to alcohol, and in the last year there have been 348 incidents of violent crime reported close to licensed premises in the area. The number of hospital admissions due to alcohol-related conditions in Arun is also higher than the national average.
Sergeant Peter Allan of Littlehampton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "We are keen to sustain the reducing crime levels in Arun, in particular violent crime. Hopefully by educating people about the dangers of consuming too much alcohol, we can help reduce the negative affect that this misuse can have on the community, thereby allowing everyone to safely enjoy the festive season."
Sue Carmichael of West Sussex Primary Care Trust said: "The Christmas party season tends to see more people enjoying drinks with their friends. Over recent years the strength of drinks has increased and glass sizes have grown so it is easy to drink more alcohol than you realise. By being aware of what you are drinking and stopping before you have had too much you can have a good night, and get home safely."