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Extra New Year Police Patrols

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3:25pm 31st December 2014

Police triple the number of officers on the streets - as Cornwall celebrates New Year.

Places like St Ives, Newquay and Looe are expecting thousands to see in twenty-fifteen.

Cornwall and Devon Police are preparing for what is expected to be the busiest night of the year.

Newquay Inspector Dave Meredith says Streetsafe patrols will be out too: "If there's somebody who is worse the wear for drink or drugs, they will hopefully go out and take care of them and hopefully get them back to the church. By doing that, it takes them off the street, it makes them less vulnerable to opportunist thieves or anything like that; it often prevent them from becoming victims of crime.

"In addition to the normal Newquay response officers, we've got 28 extra officers. There's also street pastors working and there's also Streetsafe working so we've got a reasonable amount of extra resources."

Tips for staying safe on New Year's Eve:

Plan Ahead:
*Make sure your phone is charged and you have credit
*Keep some money back in a pocket in case you lose your purse or wallet
*Plan how to get home. Have a taxi number or book one in advance, check out the last bus times and keep some money separate for getting home.  

Stay In Control:
*Avoid drinking in rounds
*Stagger your drinks. Alternate alcohol and soft drinks
*Never leave your drink unattended
*Take it in turns to look after your friends.

Look After Each Other:
*Stay with your friends, don't leave people behind or let them go off with someone they don't know
*Don't get drawn into problems or arguments
*Think carefully before going back to anyone's house or inviting anyone to yours
*Avoid walking alone at night and stick to well-lit roads
*If you need the police call the non-emergency 101 number. Unless it's an emergency - then call 999
Devon and Cornwall Police are also putting out a plea to people calling the non-emergency 101 line on New Year's Eve.

The force's two contact centres in Plymouth and Exeter receive more than a million calls a year.

Although many people use the service responsibly there are still a significant number who, whether through ignorance or impatience, waste police time and also increase call waiting times for genuine callers.

In the run up to Christmas, calls to 101 included an escaped budgie, broken DVDs and a complaint about public toilets being closed.

Chief Superintendent Nye said: "Clearly none of these are police matters. While these examples may raise a smile they are unacceptable uses of the 101 service and underline an issue which is increasing call waiting times for callers who genuinely need help.

"Over the next 12 months we will be introducing new technology, new systems of working and additional staff to our contact centres to reduce call waiting and deployment times.

"We'll also be producing materials online and in print about when it is appropriate for the public to call the police and when it is not, and when another agency is the most appropriate to get in touch with."

Other situations when the police are not the best people to call in a non-emergency situation include noisy neighbours, abandoned vehicles, parking issues and dangerous dogs.

A full range of contact information can be found on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

Chief Superintendent Nye added: "The public may also be unaware that it is perfectly appropriate in a non-emergency situation to email:101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

"Information received this way is treated in exactly the same way as a call to 101, and it is the way we would prefer to receive questions about policing matters in our area and requests for advice."

3:25pm 31st December 2014

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