Operation Jingles: Police working to keep everyone safe this busy festive weekend
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Officers across Cheshire will be working hard to ensure one of the busiest weekend’s in the festive calendar is as safe as possible as part of Operation Jingles.
As the last weekend before Christmas, Friday 17 December to Sunday 19 December is set to be a busy one for officers patrolling night-time hot spots across the county.
In anticipation of this, a number of plans have been put in place to protect the public in key areas.
Over recent months, uniformed patrols have been stepped up and boosted with the support of the Special Constabulary, while plain clothed officers have been operating in and around bars, pubs and clubs ensuring that anyone intent on causing trouble or harm is dealt with.
The dog unit will be deployed to assist in the crackdown of illegal drug activity and to assist patrols when needed.
Partnership safety buses will also be out force-wide and will provide support to anyone who feels that they are vulnerable or in need of assistance during the evening.
These safe havens will offer mobile phone charging, crime prevention advice and more importantly, someone to talk to who will offer support.
There will also be safe tents whereby officers and partners will be engaging with revellers.
Assistant Chief Constable Bill Dutton said: “Throughout December, the force has increased policing around our night time economies to make sure everyone is as safe as possible while enjoying themselves in the county’s bars, clubs and pubs.
“However, this weekend, we will be stepping up this effort even further.
“With just over a week to go before Christmas, we understand many people will want to go out and celebrate with friends and family before the big day. It is traditionally busy and businesses have had a tough time with the coronavirus pandemic, so we are there to support them also.
“Please remember that coronavirus has not gone away – do stay safe, follow the rules and advice for the premises you are in.
“Our officers will be there to engage with the law abiding public but also to crackdown on those who think they can prey on people when they are vulnerable. No-one should be in fear in our area.
“We will be focussing on issues such as spiking, sexual assaults, violence against women and girls and targeting other activity such as drug dealing, theft and licensing breaches.
“We will not stop in pursuing those who are intent on causing harm. We have over 90 custody cells and we are quite prepared to fill them where people are committing offences.”
In Cheshire there have been a small number of spiking incidents reported affecting both men and women. Officers have been working with partners and licensed premises to ensure that measures are put in place to spot the signs and how to best protect the public.
Teams of uniform and specially trained plain clothes officers will also be identifying and tackling anyone who may display predatory behaviours such as harassment, loitering without reason and stalking behaviour.
Superintendent Laura Marler, force lead for Op Jingles, added: “Everyone should be able to enjoy a night out in Cheshire.
“The high visibility action will provide reassurance to the public while also allowing us to address issues of behaviour and hold people to account if they are behaving in an unacceptable manner.
“If you are out this weekend, please do not be alarmed if you see extra officers. If you have any concerns please go and approach them, speak to them – they are there to help and protect you.”