Officers across Derbyshire will be on hand this Christmas to make sure you can have a safer night out if you choose to do so.
Extra patrols are planned for all of the county’s key nights out, and together with our partners we will be putting a whole range of measures in place to make sure you can get home safe.
We work closely with licensed venues, including through the Pub Watch scheme – where bars, pubs and clubs have a radio giving them a direct line to police support, helping to nip any problems in the bud early on.
The Hollie Guard app, which sends location data to your contacts with a simple shake of your phone, is another great tool for anyone who wants extra peace of mind while walking alone.
Officers have trained door staff to spot the signs of vulnerability, so they can identify who might need help and know what to do to support them.
Derbyshire Constabulary’s licensing teams also work closely with venues to ensure they know their responsibilities not to serve people who have already had too much to drink, because we know that this puts people at risk.
Although drink spiking is not an issue of concern in Derbyshire at the moment, new guidance has been developed so that all officers know how to respond to potential incidents. All licensed premises have also been contacted and given advice on how to prevent drink spiking in their venues.
Assistant Chief Constable Michelle Shooter, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “Every year we work hard to make sure that people can enjoy socialising without the fear of becoming a victim of crime – not just at Christmas, but every night.
“I know that this year, women in our communities may feel even more aware of their personal safety than usual, or wonder what the police are doing to protect them. These measures are for everyone, but I particularly hope that women and people in other marginalised groups feel reassured that we are working hard to keep them safe.
“Operation Wintershield – our plan to tackle serious violent crime – is another way we’re making nights out across the county safer, by tackling hot spots for knife crime and other serious violence.
“We wish a merry and safe Christmas to anyone celebrating across the county.”
Public health bosses also urged people to consider Covid-19 before heading out, and to take whatever precautions they can to keep people safe.
Dr Robyn Dewis, Derby City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“We’d strongly urge everyone to plan ahead and restrict social interaction now. Think carefully about the number of people you’re mixing with.
“If you haven’t already, get your booster vaccinations as soon as possible. Walk-in booster vaccinations are available at Midland House on Nelson Street in Derby or you can book an appointment online.
“We’re also recommending that everyone continues to take regular lateral flow tests at home to reduce the spread of the virus. Lateral flow tests can be ordered online or picked up from local pharmacies.
“We would also urge everyone to continue to do the right thing by wearing a face covering, following social distancing in busy places, washing hands regularly and keeping rooms well ventilated.”
Dean Wallace, Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “I’d urge everyone to remain vigilant to help protect themselves and loved ones by preventing the virus from spreading further. That means continuing to wear a face covering where required, working from home where possible, keeping on with regular handwashing and keeping rooms well-ventilated – particularly if you’re mixing with other households.
“It also means testing regularly whether you have symptoms or not, and self-isolating and booking a test online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119 if you have any of the main symptoms, which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
“These measures will all help to stop the spread but the best protection against Covid-19 is to get the vaccine. It’s not too late if you haven’t had yours. To book an appointment visit www.nhs.uk.
“We’ve come so far in our fight against this pandemic – but Covid hasn’t gone away and we still need to take precautions to protect those we love from this illness.”