Act responsibly: Force launches campaign to promote safe nights out
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As Covid-19 restrictions finally end, allowing a full reopening of pubs, clubs and licensed premises, Northamptonshire Police is launching a campaign to encourage revellers to act responsibly, reminding them of the consequences of behaving badly.
The idea behind the messages, which cover everything from the risk of a criminal record to consent and peer pressure, is to address potential offender behaviour, while also providing safety advice.
Set to be shared on our social media accounts, the messages are also being backed up on the streets by the Force putting out double the number of officers usually on duty for the policing of the night-time economy (NTE).
Superintendent Adam Ward, who leads on NTE policing for the Force, said: “Traditionally, a lot of our messaging around nights out has been advice to help people keep themselves safe, and while that’s still really important, we want to make it really clear to anyone who may use the reopening of the night-time economy to harm others and commit crime that we will absolutely not stand for it.
“What you choose to do and how you choose to behave on a night out can have very real consequences for the rest of your life, so we’re reminding people to act responsibly so the only repercussion they face is a hangover.”
Officers will be taking a firm approach to anyone misbehaving, with people encouraged to have fun without putting themselves or others in danger.
This week the Force will also launch Operation Kayak, an initiative that will see plain clothes officers out in public spaces during the NTE to keep an eye out for potentially predatory behaviour towards vulnerable people.
Detective Superintendent Paul Rymarz, the Force’s Head of Crime, said: “Northamptonshire Police is committed to ensuring our streets are safe and Operation Kayak is intended to help do this by making the county a hostile place for those intent on committing sexual offences.
“This proactive approach sends out a clear message – we are committed to making the streets safer and this is just one way in which we are working to tackle any unacceptable behaviour.”
Detective Inspector Liz Basham, who is leading the operation, added: “Government restrictions are lifting and we want people to enjoy an evening out without feeling fearful – we want them to feel reassured that we have officers patrolling the streets keeping a watchful eye out for potential offenders.
“Operation Kayak is a joint effort and we are working alongside our partners to spread the message that offenders are unwelcome in our towns.”
As the NTE reopens, Northamptonshire Police is also supporting Counter Terrorism Policing’s vigilance campaign and encourage the public to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity. Communities defeat terrorism.
To report online and learn more about the signs to spot, visit Gov.uk/ACT
Advice for acting responsibly
A bad hangover might last a day, but a criminal record can last for life. Think before you act
Everyone’s been living for the weekend forever, but don’t let it go to your head – know your limits
Don’t be that one person who spoils the night – make sure the only thing you regret is a hangover
Consent is everything, so if you’re looking to hook up, be respectful, act responsibly and stay safe. No always means no
Peer pressure isn’t cool – if you’re the one always encouraging friends to drink more than they should, are you really a friend?
Advice for enjoying a safe night out
Plan how you’re going to get home and arrange a lift or book a taxi in your name
Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go out
Stick with your friends and choose a meeting point where you’ll wait for each other if you get separated
If talking to a stranger, stay in a public place, if you feel uncomfortable, leave and go somewhere others will see you
Always keep the number of a reliable taxi firm with you. Avoid minicabs or private-hire cars that tout for business and are unlicensed
When the taxi arrives, check it’s the one you booked. If in doubt, don’t get in
Never accept a lift from a stranger
Be aware of what you are drinking – if someone offers to buy you a drink, go with them to the bar and watch the drink being poured, and keep an eye on your drink at all times
If you need help on a night out, or are worried about someone else, report concerns to venue staff, police or street pastors. In an emergency, always call 999