Violent crime falls over the festive period

VIOLENT crime was cut by almost a third in East Sussex over the festive period - one of the busiest times of the year for emergency services.

Officers worked flat out to deal with incidents of drunken revellers who had enjoyed too much alcohol during a night’s celebrations.

But extra patrols and working closely with licensees helped to prevent offences from occurring.

Recorded figures show significant year-on-year reductions in public place violence, down 32.4 per cent, and total violence against the person, down 28 per cent during the night-time economy of December 2010, compared to December 2009.

New Year’s Eve, usually the peak evening for disorder linked to the night-time economy, saw 43.6 per cent fewer offences of violence against the person between 8pm on December 31, 2010, and 7am on January 1, 2011, compared to the previous year.

During the festive period, 222 licensing checks were carried out across the division and police in Eastbourne and Hastings took part in the Safe Space initiative, ensuring people had somewhere to go if they got into trouble or needed assistance or advice on a night out.

East Sussex Safer Communities Partnership and organisations including Sussex Police, East Sussex County Council, NHS and District and Borough Councils shared information and put out messages to encourage young people to have fun and stay safe.

East Sussex Policing Commander, Chief Superintendent Robin Smith, said, “It is clear that the combination of extra patrols and working closely with our partners, in particular licensees across the county who demonstrated a really responsible approach, has really paid off.

“I am also impressed with the skill and professionalism demonstrated by officers working over the festive period, ensuring our communities could celebrate safely. I’d also like to thank the overwhelming majority who took our advice and enjoyed themselves over Christmas and New Year without trouble.”