NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: New campaign to drive down crime

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Nottinghamshire Police has launched a new campaign to tackle violent crime in the county.

A spokesman said it forms part of the force’s strategy on violent crime and encompasses hate crime, robbery, domestic violence, and crime which take place during the night and in public spaces.

Although there has been an overall reduction in crime in recent years, numbers of violent crimes have started to rise.

Last year, between July 2012 to June 2013, there were 13,217 instances of violent crime. Of these 7,106 resulted in injury, police said.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said: “We don’t want to alarm people, the number of murders and attempted murders are decreasing, but every single one of those 13,217 is one victim too many.

“Our priority is violent crime. We want it reducing year on year and eventually our ambition is for Nottinghamshire to be the safest place in the country.

“The bottom line is that violence is unacceptable.

“Nottinghamshire has much to offer on a night out, it has a vibrant city and there are lots of good bars and clubs. We want people to come and have a good time and not have their night ruined because they have become a victim or an offender of violent crime.

“We’ve led on campaigns such as One Punch before and the impact this can have. One punch can lead to two lives ruined, or two lives ended. What started as a silly disagreement can lead to death for one and a significant prison sentence for the other.

A lot of the issues are related to alcohol. Our campaign and our activity will focus on this.”

There are three weeks of action planned over the next few months, with the first starting place next week, focusing on crime relating to alcohol, the night time economy and public spaces, the second week will focus on hate crime, and third will target robbery.

There are real issues with alcohol and particularly pre-loading - where people buy strong alcohol and get drunk before they go out, police said.

Mr Torr said: “Our figures show that people that ‘pre-load’ are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in violence as a victim or an offender. They are also four times more likely to consume over 20 units in a single night.

“Worryingly 50 per cent of 18 to 35-year-olds pre-load on a Friday or Saturday night

“People need to take greater responsibility for themselves and their friends to reduce the likelihood of them becoming injured, a victim or involved in violence.

“Drinking so much that you can’t think clearly makes you vulnerable and more likely to become a victim of crime, be injured or be involved in violence.

“This is part of a national issue but something we are looking to address in Nottinghamshire. We’re not kill-joys but we argue that to have a good night out you don’t have to be so drunk you don’t know what you are doing.

“We work well with partners to ensure licensed premises are well run, there are staff on the doors and we work hard to keep you safe.”