Suffolk PCC makes your safety his priority over the festive season

Keeping everyone safe is Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Passmore Priority for the festive season.

Tim Passmore, said “I love this time of year and enjoy having more time to spend with family and friends, but for too many people their fun is fuelled by alcohol which can seriously detract from the goodwill of the season.

“I want people of all ages to enjoy their New Year celebrations so I have supported various initiatives to support my Passmore Priority and to keep everyone safe in Suffolk this year.
“For people enjoying an evening out in Ipswich, I have allocated some funding to support a taxi marshalling scheme. Marshalls will work on Friday and Saturday night to help reduce violent crime and anti-social behaviour by moving people through and out of town via a safe marshalling service in Ipswich.
“I am also encouraging pubs, bars and restaurants to play their part by working with partners to extend the Best Bar None scheme which helps to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder in Ipswich town centre and makes the town centre a more pleasant place.” The PCC hopes this project will be extended across the county in 2014.
“Sadly alcohol is often the trigger for domestic violence and rape. Victims of these terrifying crimes need very specialist and sensitive support so I have allocated additional funding to support Suffolk Rape Crisis and the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum to boost their valuable work.

As always at this time of year, the Constabulary will be stepping up their efforts to catch anyone drink driving. “I fully support the Constabulary’s approach to drink driving. I find it really staggering that despite the obvious dangers and the huge amount of publicity, every year drivers risk their lives and the lives of others by driving under the influence of alcohol.

The PCC’s message to Suffolk this year is simple “Look after yourself and your friends, enjoy yourself but keep safe.”

Booking a taxi
• Make sure that you have the telephone number of the cab company you have booked
• Use a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle from a recognised firm or official taxi rank
• Do not get into a cab you have not asked for
• Look for the official license plate and number and ask to see the drivers badge if not visible
• If possible, share a cab with a friend
• Always sit in the back
• If you chat to the driver do not give away any personal details
• When arriving home, have your money and house keys ready and consider asking the driver to wait until you are in the house
• If the driver makes you feel uneasy, ask him to stop at a busy public place and get out. If he refuses to stop, raise the alarm by waving or shouting out of the window and use your mobile phone to call 999.

• Always have your car regularly serviced and make periodic checks of the tyres, oil and water
• Join a national breakdown organisation and always carry your membership card
• Plan your route using main roads as far as possible
• Ensure you have enough fuel for your journey
• Carry some change, a phonecard or a mobile phone
• Keep your doors locked when travelling and whenever you leave the vehicle
• Keep items such as coats, wallets, mobile phones and other valuables out of view
• Always remove all valuables and satellite navigation systems when leaving vehicle
• Ensure your keys are close to hand when returning to your home or car.

On foot
• If your bag is snatched, do not resist – shout for help
• If you think you are being followed, go to the nearest place where there are people, such as a pub, shop, or well-lit house and call the police
• If a car stops and the occupant asks for directions, keep your distance
• Be alert – walk with purpose and confidence
• Plan your route and avoid short cuts through unlit or deserted areas
• Whenever possible do not walk alone
• Let someone know where you are going and your time of return
• Walk facing the traffic so a car cannot pull up behind you without you realising
• Be aware of your surroundings – a personal music player may prevent you from hearing traffic, or somebody approaching from behind you
• Cover up expensive-looking jewellery
• Carry a personal alarm (available from some police stations). If you are confronted, use your alarm, then run and shout to attract attention.

Getting home
• Do not hitchhike or accept lifts from strangers
• Wait where it is well lit and there are other people
• On a station stand well back on the platform
• On a bus, the safest place to sit is near the driver or conductor
• On a train, sit with other people. Avoid empty carriages
• If you feel uneasy or threatened, move to another seat or carriage. If necessary tell the driver, conductor or guard.