Partners of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Violence Reduction Alliance (VRA) continued to promote the Safer Nights messages and support party-goers over the festive period.
The Safer Nights campaign addresses multiple audiences to encourage a fun night out while raising awareness of spiking, preloading and helping to educate a safer night’s environment. The initiative raises awareness of support networks, technology and safe zones available within the night-time economy.
Staffordshire Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the VRA, Ben Adams said:
“Protecting people from harm is an absolute top priority in my Police & Crime Plan which is why the Commissioner’s office has successfully secured almost £5 million funding since 2020 for a range of practical partnership initiatives to protect communities from harm.
“The Safer Nights campaign has been growing since it was first launched in 2021 and it is great to see partners are still invested in promoting these messages to help make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent a safer place for communities.”
Lichfield District Community Safety Partnership and Staffordshire Police joined forces to run a Safer Nights operation on Bird Street in the run up to Christmas. Over two nights, partners supported approximately 120 young women and handed out over 100 personal attack alarms and around 280 anti-spiking devices. Lichfield District Council Enforcement Officers also checked taxis were complying with conditions regarding identification and information display to ensure members of the public were safeguarded whilst travelling home.
Principal Community Safety Officer at Lichfield District Council, Yvonne James said:
“When you are out it’s very important to have a good time as safely as possible.
“It can be easy to let your guard down and leave your drink unattended so we spoke to a large number of people about how to keep safe, promoted apps that are available for personal safety and explained how to report areas in the city that they may feel unsafe in. We are proud to have been a part of, and will continue to support, the Safer Nights campaign.”
Cannock Chase Council provided both venues and members of the public with drink spiking kits. The kits allowed party-goers to test their drinks for drugs before consuming. Drink spiking is when someone puts alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. Signs that someone may have been spiked include appearing drunk, woozy or drowsy; breathing difficulties; feeling confused, disorientated or unconscious; difficulty speaking and memory loss.
Councillor Jo Elson, Portfolio Leader for Community Wellbeing at Cannock Chase Council, said:
“We were delighted to be part of the Safer Nights Campaign, the funding enabled us to provide drink spiking strips and training to venues across the District, improving the safety of our residents, whilst they enjoyed nights out over the festive period.”
Backed by successful Safer Streets, Safety of Women at Night and Local Development funding, the VRA has made a significant difference to improving the safety of women and girls and others who enjoy the night-time economy by:
- Launching the partnership’s Safer Nights campaign
- Supporting the establishment of three Safe Spaces where anybody who may find themselves vulnerable during the night-time economy can seek support
- Training partners to deliver an accredited Spiking Awareness course
- Improving open spaces and walkways with additional lighting and CCTV
- Developing educational material for primary school children
- Encouraging businesses to sign the Safer Places for Women and Girls Charter
Find out more about the Safer Nights campaign here: Safer Nights – Violence Reduction Alliance