WIGAN’S new year’s eve revellers have been urged to drink sensibily and walk away from trouble as seasonal festivities continue.
Officers say that New Year’s Eve can be the busiest time of the year for them in relation to alcohol-fuelled violence and domestic abuse, and that they will be out in force on the night to protect potential victims, ensure people have a safe night out and put offenders behind bars.
Figures for last New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day show that reports of violent crime and domestic abuse doubled on those two days compared to the average daily number for the rest of December 2011. There were 236 violent crimes and 137 incidents of domestic abuse reported in total on the two days last year.
To tackle the potential spike in violent incidents divisional, Special and specialist operations officers will be patrolling trouble hotspots in town and city centres urging revellers to drink responsibly and advising them how to avoid falling prey to thieves and get home safely. They will also be on the look-out for trouble makers and nipping any potential disorder in the bud before it has a chance to escalate.
Officers say that excessive alcohol consumption can decrease people’s awareness of what is going on around them, increasing their chances of becoming a victim of crime or being drawn into violent confrontations.
Excessive drinking mixed with heightened family tensions, unrealistic expectations and financial worries can also lead to increases in domestic violence.
Specially trained domestic abuse officers will be working over the holiday period to support domestic violence victims and take robust action against abusers.
Karen Harrison, Service Manager for Greater Manchester’s Domestic Abuse Helpline, said: “While most people will enjoy the festive period, for some women and their children this is a time when domestic abuse increases.
“Please don’t suffer in silence, and remember there is help and support available. If you need to speak to somebody in confidence, call us on 0161 636 7525 or visit www.endthefear.co.uk”
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “We want people to enjoy New Year’s Eve, get home safely and have a Happy New Year. They are more likely to do this if they pace their drinks, walk away from any trouble that may flare up and watch out for each other.
“We will also be on standby to respond to reports of domestic violence and would urge anyone suffering in silence to call us on 101.
“They can be assured that we will take them seriously and support them through getting out of an abusive relationship. They should ring us on 999 in an emergency if they are in immediate danger.”