FENLANDER: Partnership launches Christmas campaigns against alcohol incidents and vehicle crime

TWO high-profile campaigns have been launched this week by the Safer Fenland Partnership in a concerted bid to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

One is aimed at reducing alcohol-related incidents and will focus particularly on March and Wisbech town centres; the other targets theft from cars. They will run alongside the annual blitz on drink-driving.

Almost all the pubs and clubs in March and Wisbech have signed up to the campaign to combat drink-related problems. All those that belong to the Pubwatch scheme are placing various warning posters in prominent positions throughout their premises.

Bar and door staff have also received a training package to help them implement Trading Standards’ Challenge 25 campaign. It means that customers who look under 25 will have to produce photographic ID – passport, driving licence or the official “PASS” card – if they want to buy alcohol.

It is one of the first times that the Challenge 25 campaign has been mounted in pubs and clubs; previously it has usually been aimed at off-licences.

Premises will also receive joint visits from police, including sniffer dogs, licensing officers and representatives from Trading Standards, the Gambling Commission and the Fire & Rescue service. And fresh signs are being put up reminding people of CCTV cameras, which will be monitoring key areas.

Running in tandem with this is a second campaign aimed at making further reductions in vehicle crime, which is already on the decrease in Fenland.

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It has the backing of major retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, the Co-op and Argos. Signs warning people not to leave any valuables in their cars are being prominently displayed at stores’ entrances and exits and in their car parks. They will also be placed in Fenland District Council’s car parks and on the approaches to some rural villages.

Councillor Ken Mayor, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for safer and stronger communities and chairman of the Safer Fenland Partnership, said: “These campaigns are all about prevention and people behaving sensibly and responsibly. We want to make sure that everyone enjoys a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and that their holiday isn’t spoiled.”

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