Drug and alcohol-related anti-social behaviour during nights out in Chester city centre will not be tolerated, say Cheshire police.
Last weekend, a number of officers were out in force all over the city as part of a crackdown to ensure a safer city at night, following several incidents where revellers have collapsed and needed to be treated in hospital.
Officers from Chester Inner Neighbourhood Policing Unit will continue to robustly police the city centre over the forthcoming weekends to ensure those people who wish to enjoy their night out can do so safely, Cheshire police say.
Over the coming weekends police will be targeting anyone who thinks they can come into Chester to sell or buy illegal drugs, as well as dealing with those people who think drinking to excess and behaving in an aggressive or violent way is acceptable.
As part of the operation last weekend, special constables joined local officers on patrol in the city and used specialist dog handlers to visit licensed premises, talk to local residents and business owners and deal with antisocial behaviour to diffuse any situations before they could escalate.
Superintendent Paul Williams leading the operation, said: “This operation concentrated on Chester city centre, including the Northgate, Eastgate, Pepper Street and Bridge Street areas.
“As part of the operation we worked with a number of licenced premises across the city centre to raise awareness of the impact alcohol and drugs related crime where having on the city centre.
“Working together with local business owners, officers were able to offer valuable advice on how to prevent crime occurring on their premises and provide information about what premises owners should tell their staff to look out for to prevent the supply of drugs on their premises and to stop alcohol related behaviour escalating to a point where people required hospitalisation.
“We were also assisted by the volunteer Chester Street Pastors who handed out leaflets offering advice and information to educate people who were visiting the city,” he explained.
Sergeant Emma Smithies added: “Many people were intrigued to see the police dogs whilst they were out in the city centre, and although they are pleasant to look at, but they are extremely well trained and provide a vital tool as part of our fight against drugs crime.
“On the night, the dog identified three potential suspects, but thankfully following full searches all of the results were negative.”
“The feedback we have received from this operation has been extremely positive, both licensees and members of the public were pleased to see that the police were taking positive action to prevent crime.
“We are committed to making Chester a safer place to live, work and visit, and this operation will be continuing so if you are coming into the City centre we want to make sure you can enjoy your night out without fear and can have a good time.”
Anyone who is concerned about drug or alcohol related crime in their local community is urged to contact Cheshire police on 101, alternatively information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.