Party-goers heading out to enjoy the festive celebrations this weekend are being urged to stay safe as the region gears up for one of the busiest periods of the year.
In Wrexham town centre and across North Wales there will be an increased police presence, with thousands expected to descend on pubs and clubs across the region for a Christmas night out.
This can lead to people consuming more alcohol than normal – with North Wales Police urging potential offenders that violent and drunken behaviour will not be tolerated.
Acting Chief Inspector Julie Sheard, from the Community Safety Department at North Wales Police said: “We want people to enjoy themselves during the Christmas period, but an enjoyable night means a safe night – not one that ends up in hospital or in one of our cells.
“We make a significant contribution to keeping our town centres safe so people can enjoy a good night out, but we must get the message across that people need to take greater responsibility for themselves and their friends to reduce the likelihood of them being injured, becoming a victim of crime, or being involved in violence through excessive drinking.
“North Wales Police, working with our partners, will ensure that pubs, clubs, shops and drinkers are complying with the law. Those who don’t will be dealt with robustly.
“Areas such as Wrexham will also see the Alcohol Treatment Centre being opened on key dates as well as street pastors who will be providing assistance to anyone in crisis.”
Officers are also encouraging party-goers to plan their evenings and how they are going to get home safely. Since December 1st North Wales Police have made over 50 drink-drive arrests and over 30 drug-driving arrests across the region.
A/C.I Sheard said: “Our message is aimed at promoting safe and responsible drinking and preventing and reducing levels of alcohol fuelled violent crime and anti-social behaviour. North Wales Police and partners are committed to ensuring that revellers can thoroughly enjoy a safe night out.”
Such comments have been echoed by, Richard Lee, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Director of Operations, who said: “As we approach the festive season we are asking people to use us wisely.
“We are not killjoys, but every year we see a number of 999 calls to attend alcohol related incidents at Christmas celebrations.
“We are providing additional resources in some areas, but we would ask you to help us by taking care of your friends and colleagues by making sure everybody gets home safely from your office party or night out.
“Make sure you know how you and your party are getting home and wear appropriate clothing for the cold and wet weather. We wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
A joint initiative between North Wales Police, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Service to improve the support given to people experiencing a mental health crisis in the Wrexham area is also underway over the busy festive season.
A dedicated multi-agency team has been established which is the first of its kind in Wales and will see a Mental Health/Learning Disability Nurse and Paramedic accompany a Police Officer to incidents where people may need immediate mental health support.
The team will be operating in the county during periods of peak demand over the festive season, including ‘Festive Friday’, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.
The aim of the Multi-Agency Response Team is to ensure that adults who are vulnerable through mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, Autism, Dementia and memory problems receive appropriate support at the right time and in the right place during a crisis.
North Wales Police are using social media to help raise crime prevention awareness over the festive period. Social media users are encouraged to follow the hashtags #NWPChristmas #ChooseWisely and #Fatal5