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Enhanced patrols and initiatives underway to tackle violent crime this Christmas and New Year

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Enhanced patrols and initiatives underway to tackle violent crime this Christmas and New Year

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Devon and Cornwall Police is reminding people to take care of themselves, their friends and family while celebrating the festive period in its latest drive to tackle violent crime.

​Officers will be carrying out enhanced patrols and a range of initiatives in the main towns and cities across the two counties in a bid to help keep people safe.

In Exeter, there will be additional officers working late shifts on key dates during the Christmas period to carry out high-visibility patrols. These officers will be supported by colleagues from the Special Constabulary and licensing officers from both the Force and Exeter City Council. Additional officers will also be on patrol during the day to tackle known anti-social behaviour (ASB) hotspots as part of the ongoing Op Loki campaign.

Our officers work closely with licensed premises, many of whom are members of Best Bar None or Exeter Businesses Against Crime. These memberships provide radios, enabling the premises to raise safety issues direct with the CCTV control room and police. The highly respected Exeter Street Pastors will also be out and about bringing another dimension to public safety.

Other initiatives taking place across Devon and Cornwall include the provision of evening and night-time economy marshals outside key licensed premises and Project NightEye, which targets those individuals behaving in a predatory sexual manner.

We have delivered training to licensees, bar staff and street pastors about the Ask for Angela initiative, drink spiking and vulnerability.

Devon and Cornwall Police is this year supporting a new national winter Walk Away campaign, which aims to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by someone being assaulted on a night out, often as a result of drunken behaviour, or split-second errors of judgement.

Men aged 18 to 30 are most likely to be a victim or suspect of such behaviour and the initiative calls on friends and bystanders of potential offenders, as well as members of the public, to de-escalate situations when it’s safe to.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sheon Sturland said: “Tackling violent crime remains a priority for Devon and Cornwall Police. Very sadly we know that there are times when situations do get out of hand and someone’s life can be irreversibly altered because of a single momentary lapse of control.

“Together with partner agencies across Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly we are committed to doing everything we can to keep people safe this Christmas and New Year, however we are asking people to take some personal responsibility, look after each other and not get into situations where behaviour can escalate into violence.

“I am encouraging those going out over the festive season to know when you have had enough to drink, plan how you are going to get home and look after each other.

“If you are out with friends and a situation becomes heated, step in and try to talk them down, steer them from the situation and encourage them to walk away. If things escalate, ask others around you for help or call 999.

“Our officers will be out and about and will be on hand to arrest those who are intent on committing acts of violence. If you commit a violent offence you can expect to get a criminal record, which could affect your career and reputation. Don’t regret your night out.”

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “Unfortunately a minority of people will spoil Christmas festivities for themselves and others by drinking too much and being violent and unpleasant.

“I fully support the police in taking robust action against these individuals so our city and town centres remain safe places we can all enjoy at what is a special time of year.”

You can find tips about dealing with a violent situation by visiting or the national Walk Away campaign:


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