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It’s The Thought That Counts – Staying safe this Christmas in the City of London

  • City Police launches Christmas campaign across the Square Mile
  • Cycle medics, mobile police station, public patrols and more
  • Violence and theft in focus – last year 140 violent incidents including 59 assaults
  • Two men were jailed for a fight at Christmas drinks last year
  • Remember – it’s the thought that counts! 

This Christmas, the City of London Police is launching a dedicated policing operation to help prevent people from becoming victims of crime over the festive period – while asking everyone to keep their wits about them when out and about.

 

From today (Wednesday, 29 November 2017), more officers will be on hand at peak times in the Square Mile throughout the month of December to ensure a safe and happy Christmas for all, and help support bars and restaurants during this busy period with the Christmas party season almost upon us.

 

#ThoughtThatCounts

 

Using #ThoughtThatCounts this year’s campaign is asking people to be safe, sensible and stay aware of their surroundings when they are doing their Christmas shopping or enjoying a Christmas drink so that they are able to not only enjoy themselves – but also make sure Christmas does not get cancelled for either themselves or anyone around them.

 

A series of videos will be a released over the seasonal period which show how one small mistake can result in a Christmas lacking in goodwill and festive cheer.

 

Violent crime on the decrease

 

Last year, the Square Mile experienced fewer instances of violence (140) during Christmas compared with the same period in 2015 (154). Assaults were the main type of offence, both with and without injury, and some of the most frequent areas for violent offences were the busiest parts of the City, such as Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street, and Gracechurch Street.

 

Of the 140 violent offences committed last Christmas, more than half (83) were committed during the ‘night time economy’ (8pm to 6am the following morning), and 59 were classified as assaults – including two assaults on police officers. In addition, two rapes were reported to police over the period, both occurring on 2 December 2016, a Friday evening.

 

Last Christmas….

 

A total of 35 violent offences took place at 22 licensed premises throughout the City. One of these included a terrifying incident at a Christmas drinks in which two men bottled and punched a work colleague after an argument at a staff Christmas party.

 

Back in July, Armendi Dokle (35) and Durim Beqiri (37) were both jailed for 18 weeks for a violent pub brawl in the middle of the ground floor bar in a pub in Trinity Square (EC3), which took place three days before Christmas, and left their victim with a three-inch gash on his head.

Jail for construction workers who bottled co-worker at Christmas drinks

 

Thieves exploit Christmas rush

 

City of London Police Superintendent Bill Duffy, leading this year’s operation, said:

 

“Thieves see the Christmas period as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of people, when their attention may be elsewhere for a few minutes – such as when buying a gift or enjoying a drink - without a single care about the consequences this may cause for the victim.

 

“They will be looking forward to Christmas just as much as you – don’t make things easy for them, and keep an eye on your belongings at all times when you’re out and about.

 

“Likewise, it’s also important to know your limits and be sensible when enjoying yourself in a pub or bar - Christmas is a great time of year, and we’ll be working alongside all of partners, as well as staff at licensed premises, to ensure no one in the City remembers this one for all the wrong reasons.”

 

Officers prepared for a safe and secure Christmas

 

Throughout the Christmas period, our officers will also be working closely with the organisers of festive events across the Square Mile, such as Carol Concerts and Christmas Markets, to assist the public and allay any safety fears. 

 

Spt Duffy added: “You can help us keep these busy and popular events safe by being vigilant for anyone or anything that looks out of place or suspicious by reporting it to us on 101.

 

“If you have any questions or concerns, our officers will be on hand to assist you.”

 

What are we doing this year?

 

London Ambulance Service response bikes

 

To improve response times to incidents in the Square Mile this Christmas, we’ll be continuing a successful trial with London Ambulance Service (LAS) cycle responders joining City of London Police cycle officers for emergency 999 calls where possible. The aim of this scheme, which has worked well in the past, is to provide quicker care to people who may need simple medical attention, and to cut down the number of people being admitted to hospital.

 

Mobile Police station

 

The City of London Police will also be deploying a mobile police station at key times and locations within the Square Mile. The vehicle will be fully equipped with the technology that our officers need to carry out their work on the move, allowing them to speak to people about the work we are doing, share crime prevention advice and listen to reports of incidents.

 

Public patrols

 

Members of the public are also invited to join officers at select times on a community engagement patrol, which are on offer to the public all year round. The scheme is designed to allow the community to engage with police, increase understanding of our work and allow for feedback to be given to our Stop and Search Scrutiny Group about their experiences. The intention is that this process will increase trust in the police.


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