At long last we are beginning to see lighter nights and the occasional glimpse of sunshine.
While spring is always welcomed, the longer nights and the holiday season often brings an increase in crime and disorder – particularly the kind that originates from irresponsible drinking.
Many forces report increases in drink-fuelled violence during summer, not just in pubs and clubs but also at domestic barbecues.
Wherever there is a plentiful supply of alcohol the risks of aggression are never far away and it’s down to individual self-control to ensure a fun summer’s evening doesn’t turn violent.
The messages of my Safe Night Out campaign are as pertinent to summer as they are during the festive period and I would re-appeal to those partygoers who enjoyed a safe and sensible Christmas to remain every bit as cautious this summer.
With the lighter nights and warmer weather, it’s often tempting to forgo the taxi and risk the walk home but as we have sadly discovered time and time again this can be a fatal mistake.
Drinking to excess clouds our judgment and causes us to make choices we would never normally make. The message is to stay in control.
An immense amount of police resources are invested into policing the night-time economy.
These resources are not infinite and are becoming harder to maintain given our current funding situation.
I’m all for people enjoying a night out to help support the businesses which depend on their custom. I just urge everybody to do it safely and responsibly.
Violent crime will always dominate the headlines but I’m also very mindful of the sheer volume of low-level crime occurring within our borders which makes a huge difference to people’s lives.
Every day, dozens of minor crimes are reported to police such as criminal damage to cars, property stolen from play areas, bikes and mopeds removed from garages and antisocial behaviour.
These crimes may never appear on a newspaper front page but they still damage public confidence and intensify fear of crime.
A huge amount of police work goes into deterring, preventing or investigating crimes that are not ‘major’ issues - unless you are the victim.
These crimes couldn’t be solved without the support of the public in coming forward with information.
Remaining vigilant helps us to builder safer environments for our children and ensures our communities are a more threatening place to criminals.
This is something we can all contribute to community safety.