Make it a summer to remember for the right reasons

As life continues to return to normal after the lockdown of the past few months, Suffolk police is urging everyone to ensure they enjoy themselves responsibly this summer.

With the Covid restrictions having eased considerably over the past six months, there has been a gradual return to socialising both indoors and in our open spaces.

After a frustrating year with lockdown restrictions and limits on social interactions, police are keen people socialise and enjoy themselves once again, but the message is clear – have fun, but don’t overdo it, as too much alcohol could have unintended consequences and land you in trouble with a criminal record.

Police will be providing a visible and targeted presence around the bars and pubs over the summer to ensure some positive and proactive engagement. Key elements of this will be raising awareness on being considerate to others, drinking responsibly, highlighting that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated, reporting any suspicious behaviour and tips on personal security, safety and looking after your valuables.

The force mobile police station will be touring the county, paying visits to various locations this summer. Leaflet drops will also be taking place at key community hubs such as bars, pubs, train stations, bus stations, libraries and walk-in health centres. As well as targeted patrols at licensed venues by our community engagement officers, the force’s Special Constables and community street pastors will also be supporting the summer initiative.

As Euro 2020 tournament progresses to its conclusion, police will also continue their engagement with licensees to ensure they remain aware if they are showing Euro 2020 games that this is done responsibly without adversely impacting on the enjoyment of their customers and the wider public.

Inspector Claire Simons from the Neighbourhood Partnership Team said: “It’s great to see that since the easing of lockdown rules most people have enjoyed their new freedoms sensibly and it’s great to see businesses re-establishing. However, we have a responsibility to them and our communities to keep them safe and deal positively with criminal behaviour so we will not tolerate violence, abuse or ASB.

“The delay until 19 July for the removal of all social contact limitations means we all have a little longer to wait before full normality returns to our night-time economy. While we absolutely understand the sense of excitement people will experience as they return to the bars and pubs this summer after lockdown, they do need to remember bad behaviour affects others as well as themselves.

“This initiative is all about early engagement to reduce the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour, the likelihood of violence and ultimately, we hope, to achieve a reduction in demand on our limited policing resources.

“After the past 18 months, we all really deserve a summer to remember but make sure it is for the right reasons. This maybe continuing to support your national team at Euro 2020, enjoying the festival summer season or just getting back to having regular weekend drinks with your friends.

“So please, enjoy yourself without getting into trouble and remember if you see us out and about, come and say hello to us and have a chat – it’d be great to see you!”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Tim Passmore said: “We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and while I appreciate many businesses and individuals are disappointed by the delay, we are so close to getting back to some sort of normality we need to just hold fire for a few more weeks.

“The last year has been so difficult so we will all appreciate the opportunity to get a chance to get out to enjoy themselves with friends and family – but let’s continue to do the right thing and look forward to the end of July.

“I am so proud of the Constabulary, the way they have dealt with this pandemic is outstanding. They have continued to work in the most difficult of circumstances to keep us safe and have taken a very balanced approach to dealing with individuals who have flouted the restrictions. We must support them by sticking to the rules for the next few weeks.”