Campaign launched to cut alcohol-related violence
Dorset Police has launched a new campaign to help reduce town centre alcohol-related violent crime.
People drinking in Bournemouth town centre’s pubs, bars and clubs will see new posters on display informing them to ‘Enjoy your night – stay out of trouble’.
Signs featuring the distinctive campaign artwork are also being put up on lampposts in the town centre. The messages on these all-weather tri signs remind people ‘If you cause trouble tonight, you will be arrested’ and ‘Alcohol makes you more likely to become a victim or an offender of crime’.
The unique posters and signs are being put up around the town centre today – Monday 23 July 2012 – and they complement a similar campaign run last summer which helped to reduce night time economy related sexual offences.
Approximately 20% of all of the violent crime offences – including all levels of assault, public order offences and affray – committed in Dorset during the year 2011/12 took place in night time economy areas. This equates to 1,691 violent crimes.
The majority of these offences took place in Bournemouth town centre – Dorset’s largest night time economy area – with 929 violent crimes being committed there during 2011/12. A total of 283 violent crimes were committed in Weymouth town centre during the same one year period.
Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Inspector, Dean O’Connor, said: “This campaign is part of our approach to reduce alcohol-related violent crime.
“All too often we have to arrest people in the town centre who have had too much to drink and decide to cause trouble or get into fights.
“People have been left with extremely serious injuries as a result of drunken violence, so it is important we do everything we can to reduce these offences.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t enjoy a night out in the town, but they shouldn’t drink to the extent that they wake up in a police cell the following morning.”
The campaign artwork focuses on the use of a male character with a distinctive, large red head. This character represents an alcohol-fuelled violent offender.
The character finds himself in various situations including getting into a fight, being arrested by a police officer and ending up in a prison cell.
This campaign is being delivered as part of Operation Protect – the Force’s approach to reducing serious and violent crime in Dorset.
Inspector O’Connor continued: “This campaign supports our aim of making Bournemouth town centre a safe place for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“We work closely with local establishments and use the Safe Bus in the town to help keep people safe.
“However, members of the public must also take responsibility for their own actions and take measures to stay safe and not commit offences.”
Bournemouth University students will also see the campaign posters from September when they are due to be put up in halls of residence and in University buildings.
The campaign posters are also due to be distributed to licensed premises in Weymouth town centre later this year. They will also be made available to Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the Force to use in their areas as they feel appropriate.
This campaign follows the success of last year’s Operation Protect campaign which focussed on reducing town centre alcohol-related sexual violence and used the same style of artwork.
Reports of night time economy-related serious sexual violence offences reduced by 31% across Dorset when comparing figures for the year 2010/11 with 2011/12.
The number of reported serious sexual offences for Bournemouth town centre reduced from 86 offences in 2010/11 to 55 offences in 2011/12 (a reduction of 36%) and Weymouth’s figures dropped from 11 offences to five offences (a reduction of 55%) during the same period.
The campaign won the national Best Campaign award at the Association of Police Communicators (APComm) Awards in November 2011.