Community groups and government bodies unite for a safer Christmas

HomeSafeTonight campaign is launched

HomeSafeTonight campaign is launched

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Thames Valley Police along with community organisations and other partners are coming together to help keep people safe over the Christmas period.

The #HomeSafeTonight campaign is bringing various groups together, including licensed premises, to provide a safe haven for Christmas revellers and to support training to help bar staff understand their legal responsibilities when serving inebriated customers and tips on handling difficult situations.

The campaign will take on many different guises across the Thames Valley area but in Banbury a Departure Zone will be set up by Thames Valley Police, Cherwell District Council Community Safety Officer and Community Wardens, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue and St John’s Ambulance.

The Departure Zone will offer advice on how to have a safe night out and provide first aid for minor injuries. In addition it will act as a focal point for people who become separated from friends and people will be helped to find a safe way home.

One of the aims is to reduce the risk of becoming a victim and promote a safer and more enjoyable environment in Banbury town centre over the holiday period.

There will be other local initiatives across the region with a safety focus including working with taxi companies and running random checks on vehicles and identification.

Also, at larger venues, metal detecting arches may be installed as a precautionary measure to deter anyone who may think of bringing a knife to an event.

Similar checks can be carried out at smaller locations using hand-held metal detecting wands.

Det Supt Paul Hayles, Head of Force CID, said: “These local initiatives are all part of our work to keep our streets and local premises safe places to visit on a night out. They go hand in hand with our advice on personal safety and our campaign this week to get #HomeSafeTonight.

“By close partnership working and the support of the local community to follow simple tips to get home safely we can reduce crime and encourage people to enjoy their local areas in the evenings.”