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Police issue advice to freshers on alcohol harm

Officers in Dorset will be carrying out additional patrols and offering advice to students during freshers’ week in support of the nationwide ‘In Focus’ campaign to reduce alcohol related crime and anti social behaviour.

The ‘In Focus’ campaign is being led by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and runs over five days from 18 to 22 September. It aims to highlight the realities of dealing with drunkenness and alcohol-related incidents and the impact on the police service.

Nationwide nearly 50 per cent of all violent crime is alcohol related.

The campaign coincides with freshers’ week – when new students arrive at their chosen universities. In Dorset, police hope that a greater presence in town centres and the availability of safety advice will prompt people to face-up to the reality of the problems excessive alcohol can cause and encourage them to drink responsibly.  

University Liaison Officer PC Andy Scarratt said: “We will be offering students advice on staying safe whilst on nights out.

“Our aim is for individuals to enjoy their student experience, but in a safe and well informed way.”

Dorset Police does a significant amount of work to prevent alcohol related anti-social behaviour and crime. This includes public protection training for bar and door staff to assist in preventing crime and disorder; increasing patrols at peak times; and checking licences and registrations.

Dorset Police also works closely with initiatives like Pub Watch and Best Bar None which promote good working practice in licensed premises.

Sergeant Richard Niemier who works in the Operation Protect team at Dorset Police said: “Alcohol is a major contributory factor in all types of crime, especially violent crime. By all means enjoy yourself, but at the same time stay aware of how much you have had to drink and keep yourself safe. Drinking to excess leaves you very vulnerable.”

Issued: 18 September 2013