Colchester: Officers and partners patrol to keep you safe
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Officers from our town centre team joined by our partners in Colchester Borough Council and Will Quince MP.
Officers in Colchester checked thirteen licensed premises and helped to make sure thousands of people got home safely during a night of town centre intensification.
The town centre team officers are deployed in Colchester every Friday and Saturday and stay out until everyone has gone home after their nights out.
Last night, they welcomed partners from Colchester Borough Council as our usual work intensified in the run up to Christmas.
Officers were out on the streets until well past 4am in order to be there to help those who needed us.
As part of that work:
· 13 licensing checks were carried out in the town centre
· 1 arrest was made
· 1 weapon was seized
· 2 small amounts of cannabis were seized
· 9 stop and searches were carried out
Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, Colchester's district commander, said:
“Last night was an intensification of what my officers do each and every weekend in Colchester.
“Our town centre team works closely with all our venues and with Colchester Borough Council’s licensing team to make sure the town is a very safe place for people to socialise, especially as we move into the festive season.
“I can assure you that when you are out in Colchester town centre, my officers will also be there to keep you safe and, should incidents happen, they will be there to respond.
“I also want to also address the issue of drink spiking as I know it has been the subject of much media and public attention.
“We take all incidents of drink spiking extremely seriously and we have launched a co-ordinated response with venues, the local authority, the NHS and voluntary organisations.
“In Colchester, we already have a highly visible policing presence in the town on busy evenings but we are also using reporting trends to best focus our resources in order keep people safe.
“It is important to note drink spiking incidents are very rare but we would always urge people who are out enjoying our lively town centre to look out for each other.
“It is never the fault of a drink spiking victim, and indeed our focus is on catching the perpetrators of this dangerous crime, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of having your drink spiked such as never taking a drink that you haven’t seen being prepared in front of you, never leaving your drink unattended, even for a moment, and if it doesn’t taste right, don’t finish it.
“The top priority of everyone involved is the safety of the people using pubs and clubs across the county.”
Among the Colchester councillors who joined the patrols was Darius Laws, whose portfolio covers licensing.
Councillor Laws said: “It was a really good experience to be out with the Colchester town centre team and see how professional they are when dealing with incidents. They are a huge credit to the town, and we are lucky to have them.
“Last night was just a snapshot of their work but, as a councillor and someone who lived within the town centre for 13 years, it is reassuring to know the planning, effort and professionalism which goes into keeping our town centre safe.
“As the licensing authority, we want to go above and beyond what the statutory expectations are – we want to be proactive and only through partnership working can we ensure our town centre is as safe as it possibly can be.”