24 December 2009>
This Christmas, Gwent Police together with other members of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership are working to educate and prevent people from taking part in alcohol related anti-social behaviour and violence.
Christmas and New Year are typically the busiest times of year for the police and other emergency services. Officers, together with Caerphilly County Borough Council's Community Safety Wardens are increasing their patrols over the festive period, particularly around town centres.
They will be reminding revellers visiting local pubs and clubs of the consequences of being caught acting anti-socially or taking part in criminal activity.
As part of the campaign, officers are also distributing posters to local pubs and clubs, to remind customers of the need to 'drink safe and be safe' over the Christmas and New Year period.
Street Pastors will also be present in Blackwood town centre, carrying out a pastoral role, including preventing people from becoming victims of crime and promoting personal and community safety. They will also assist in handing out bottles of water and safety advice to revellers. The volunteers have been operating in Blackwood on Friday and Saturday nights since October.
A temporary medical centre will also be available in Blackwood on some of the busiest nights of the year. The medical centre, based at Blackwood Market Place, will be in action between 9.45pm and 2am on Friday 18th December, Saturday 19th December and Thursday 24th December. It will also be running from 5.30pm to midnight on Saturday 26th December.
This is the second year that the medical centre has been run to provide emergency treatment to local revellers, so that Accident and Emergency departments at hospitals receive fewer people at their busiest times.
The initiative involves Gwent Police, the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, St. John's Ambulance, Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board and the Ambulance Service.
Caerphilly Council's Trading Standards department is also teaming up with local officers to carry out checks on the sale of alcohol, to ensure that licensed premises are not serving alcohol to under-18s or allowing the sale of alcohol 'by proxy', that is, where adults purchase alcohol on behalf of under-18s.
Trading Standards are also working to encourage people to make sure they use only licensed taxis to get home at the end of a night out.
Caerphilly Partnership Inspector Alan Webber, said: "This is typically the busiest time of year for the police, and we are working with our partners to ensure that people enjoy the festive season safely and sensibly. We certainly don't want to put a dampener on peoples' festivities, but we also need people to act responsibly, particularly with the levels of alcohol that they drink, to prevent them from becoming a victim of crime or putting themselves in danger.
Cllr Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment said, "I would encourage people out and about over the festive period to work with us to ensure that everyone remains safe.
With a traditional increase in alcohol consumption over this period, tempers can occasionally flare, but by acting responsibly and sensibly you will be helping us and our partners to ensure that everyone has a safe, trouble-free and enjoyable time."
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