Police launch Operation Crachit to deter alcohol-related incidents in Kinver and South Staffs

Stourbridge News: Inspector Geoff Knight Inspector Geoff Knight

POLICE will be teaming up with partner organisations to try and deter drink-related incidents in Kinver and across South Staffordshire in the run up to Christmas.

Officers from South Staffordshire Local Policing Team (LPT), along with colleagues from South Staffordshire Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, will be visiting village pubs and restaurants over the festive season to offer advice to licensees, security staff, and members of the public as part of Operation Cratchit.

There will also be an increase in high visibility patrols in Kinver at key times on Fridays and Saturdays to provide reassurances to the community; particularly on the last Friday before Christmas (December 20) - dubbed Black Friday by the emergency services as its one of the busiest dates in the calendar.

Inspector Geoff Knight, Commander of South Staffordshire LPT, who will be out on patrol on the 20th with his team, said: “My aim is to keep Kinver and the rest of South Staffordshire a safe environment for party goers and revellers to have a great time without being a victim of crime. In return I would ask the people of Kinver to be sensible with their alcohol intake and their activities over this period.

"In the 26 years I have been a police officer it has always saddened me that at Christmas when we are in the middle of what should be a celebration with family and friends, too much alcohol leads to trauma or tragedy. I want our communities to be safe and to feel safe in Kinver and the surrounding area."

Insp Knight said running alongside Operation Crachit is Operation Athena - which has been launched to address anti-social problems. As well as targetting hotspot areas with high visibility patrols - police are looking to lay on sporting activities to keep bored teens off the streets. They are currently trying to secure funding for a five-a-side football team and to re-start a village boxing club.

Insp Knight said: "These types of activities give young people exposure to discipline and teamwork and these are key skills in building confidence and self esteem. If we get this right the benefits to the individuals and to the local community involved are real and tangible in changing attitudes and perceptions and ultimately this will help to prevent crime and disorder."

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