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Young revellers are urged to drink safely and responsibly

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

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A campaign designed to tackle head-on the issues surrounding alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour is to continue this Christmas.

Safer Cornwall, the community safety partnership for Cornwall, aims to raise awareness of the potential cost of drinking too much alcohol through its "What will your drink cost?" initiative.

A series of events are being staged across Cornwall to reinforce the message over the festive season including in the areas of Truro, Redruth, Camborne, Bodmin, St Austell, Penzance, Liskeard, Falmouth and Newquay.

David Parker, community safety officer with Cornwall Council, said: "The campaign will again focus on young people and will once again be using Facebook. This initiative has already been successfully trialled to catch young people's attention offering online advice on how to have a safe night out.

"We all want to have a good time over Christmas: our message is that you can do this without getting drunk."

Agencies that make up Safer Cornwall, including Devon and Cornwall Police, Cornwall Council services such as the fire and rescue service, and licensing and anti-social behaviour teams, will all target resources across the county in support of the campaign. It is targeting 13 to 25-year-olds, parents, drivers and pedestrians.

Tamsin Ferris, a road safety officer with the council, said: "Pedestrian safety plays a key part in our campaign at this time of year. It is frightening that over a third of all pedestrians killed in Cornwall over the last five years had been drinking. For this reason, our campaign focuses on the importance of ensuring people arrange a safe way to get home before they go out for an evening – we are also appealing for people to take care of their friends while on a night out, making sure they get home safely."

Des Tidbury, the chairman of Safer Cornwall, said initiatives were already "yielding some good results across Cornwall".

He said: "People need to be aware that if the national health guidelines on drinking are exceeded, or if people drink and drive, the negative consequences can be devastating.

"This partnership approach will raise awareness and demonstrate that we are all working together to tackle the problems that excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to."

Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg added: "So much of the harm caused to our communities is alcohol-related and on a daily basis the police in Cornwall deal with people who have become a victim of alcohol-related crime, or who become offenders as a result of drinking alcohol.

"The 'What will your drink cost?' campaign will help to raise people's awareness of the risks associated with their alcohol consumption and I would hope that they will take on board the very important messages that are delivered through the partnership.

"The message is not 'don't drink' but 'understand the facts and if you choose to drink, do so safely and responsibly'."

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