Keep your Christmas spirit in check

‘Tis the season to be jolly – and that should be towards everyone working to make your nights out enjoyable this festive season. That’s the message from Plymouth Police Acting Superintendent Cath Farrin who says that sometimes the Christmas “spirit” can make revelers rude and abusive to taxi drivers, bar staff, take-away and restaurant workers.

A targeted Christmas Hate Crime Campaign launched this week by the Plymouth Diversity Team aims to remind those socialising over the Christmas and New Year period that night-time economy workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Sgt Paul Laity, who heads the Team, says while the vast majority of people out and about at this time of year are well behaved and pleasant to all, a small minority are rude and abusive to evening and night time economy workers. Posters warning revelers to be respectful to staff are going to be displayed in pubs, bars, restaurants, and takeaways and on big screens near busy locations.

Acting Supt Cath Farrin said, “Don’t excuse your comments or behaviour as high spirits or spur of the moment, throw-away fun. If you verbally or physically abuse someone because of who they are – their religion, disability, sexual orientation, their race or their gender you can expect in return to be prosecuted. Enjoy your Christmas nights out. But treat those who are working to help you enjoy yourselves and then take you safely home, despite how loud and fun filled you may be, with dignity and respect. We will be monitoring behaviours and we will take firm action. ”

Devon & Cornwall Police are working on the campaign with partners including the Community Connections Team, the Evening and Night Time Economy Co-ordinator at lymouth City Council, Plymouth University. Licensees all over Plymouth pub, restaurant and takeaway workers and taxi drivers want to ensure the city continues to enjoy a great reputation for a vibrant, diverse and safe night life.

Sgt Laity added that historically in Plymouth there have been incidents of hate crime against night time workers with alcohol often playing a part. “When alcohol is involved, we’ve heard all the excuses before. People explaining that they didn’t mean it or they were too drunk to remember won’t wash. There are no excuses for hate crime. That behaviour will not be tolerated in Plymouth, whether at Christmas – or at any other time of the year,” he said.

0820.16 PAB 15/12/16

Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News

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