Today marks the official launch of the 2015 Think Safe, Drink Safe Christmas Campaign for North Wales.
Supported by North Wales Police, local councils and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, it is aimed at ensuring visitors to towns across the region can enjoy a safe and relaxed night out during the festive season.
During this busy period hospital A&E departments as well as police and ambulance personnel often have to deal with an additional number of alcohol related incidents that put extra pressure on already over-stretched services.
There will be a drive to encourage people to download and use the Public Health Wales free app ONE DRINK ONE CLICK http://appstore.com/onedrinkoneclick to inform the public how much they are drinking.
Superintendent Jane Banham of North Wales Police said: “We want people to enjoy the festive season, but we know from experience that at this time of year some people will come to harm due to alcohol excess and it is the emergency services and local councils who are left picking up the pieces.
“The aim of this campaign is to ensure that those who consume and sell alcohol take responsibility for their actions.
“We make a significant contribution to keeping our town centres safe so people can enjoy a good night out, but we must get the message across that people need to take greater responsibility for themselves and their friends to reduce the likelihood of them being injured, becoming a victim of crime, or being involved in violence through excessive drinking.
“North Wales Police, working with our partners, will ensure that pubs, clubs, shops and drinkers are complying with the law. Those who don’t will be dealt with robustly.
“The message is simple – think safe, drink safe.”
Cllr Hugh Jones, lead Member for Place – Communities & Partnership at Wrexham County Borough Council said: “We know that Christmas and the New Year is an extremely busy time. We want visitors to towns and villages across North Wales to enjoy themselves but we frequently find that people drink too much during the festive season. Our aim is to encourage people to have a good time, but to drink responsibly.
“Excessive drinking can affect behaviour and lead to serious consequences. Anti-social behaviour and violence will not be tolerated and anyone behaving irresponsibly will be dealt with appropriately and quickly ensuring that North Wales is a safe place to come and enjoy a night out.”
Jayne Gregory, Emergency Department Matron at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital said: “Over the festive period we know we will see a significant number of people who are either suffering from the effects of excess alcohol, or who have been injured as a result of accidents where alcohol has played a part. However, these people do not often need the treatment offered by a major hospital emergency department.
“Putting in place support so that people can be checked out and cared for ‘on the spot’ means they can get the right level of care more quickly, helps reduce disruption in the Emergency Department and means my colleagues can concentrate on looking after those people with serious illness or injury who need urgent, possibly life-saving, care.”