Police have asked the public for their continued support in the weeks coming up to Christmas as officers seek to keep communities safe across Cookstown and Dungannon.
As the Christmas party season gets underway, police are asking people to celebrate sensibly and get home safely.
Area Commander Chief Inspector Jane Humphries said: “We want people to have an enjoyable and safe time. As we approach the festive season, we will be continuing with an enhanced policing profile across in our towns and villages to provide safety and reassurance to everyone.
“This is supposed to be a happy time of the year, but unfortunately at times overindulgence in alcohol has led to a trip to hospital to have an assault injury treated, or, in some other cases, a night in the cells for the perpetrators of assaults. We do not want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment during a night out, but we are asking people to think ahead and plan how to get home with just as much care as they put into planning where to go and what to wear.
“There is a clear message; don’t mess up your life with a moment of madness - a quick scuffle outside a pub might not seem much at the time, but end up in court and get a criminal record, and it won’t be worth it. People out for the night should get a lift home with a friend or family member, a non-drinking driver or a licensed taxi driver.
She added: “People who have drunk too much can often get separated from their friends and become vulnerable when isolated and less aware of their surroundings. And it is not just the victims of drink-fuelled assault who can suffer. People who walk the roads and streets after having had too much to drink stand a much greater chance of being killed or injured. Take care of your friends - stay together and don’t let someone who is drunk walk home alone. We want people to enjoy a Christmas but there three things to remember –
- Socialise responsibly - If you planning a few drinks with friends and family, remember drink responsibly and plan your journey home. It is also important that nights out end well for everyone and that everyone gets home safe. Remember your judgement can be impaired when you’ve had too much to drink - you could become a victim of crime or find yourself on the ‘wrong side of the law’.
- Never ever drink and drive - Policing never stops and officers will be working through the holidays - If you find yourself asking the question, I wonder if I’m ok to drive? Or if you find yourself trying to calculate if you are under the drink drive limit, whether that’s after one drink, or the morning after a night out, just don’t take the risk. The consequences could be catastrophic. Officers will be out breathalysing motorists at night and the next morning, so the message is clear, don’t take the chance.
- Protect your property - homeowners who have spent hard earned cash buying gifts to make this an extra special festive season, the message is simple – do not leave valuables on view.
Cookstown Street Angels volunteer co-ordinator Michelle Mawhinney, said “We are asking people to socialise responsibly and think about the consequences of their actions. If you overindulge in alcohol you run the risk of being a victim of crime or getting into trouble.”