Officers recently took to the streets of Blackpool as part of Operation Night Guardian.
Op Night Guardian, an initiative funded by the Home Office’s GRIP innovation fund, involves both uniformed and plain-clothed patrols in busy town centres. Officers help to protect people by identifying those who may be displaying signs of concerning behaviour.
As part of the operation, Blackpool Police work alongside ‘Street Angels’ who volunteer within Blackpool’s night-time economy to keep revellers safe and link in with officers directly to raise any concerns.
Sergeant Dan Whitaker, from Lancashire’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN), said: “We have had lots of positive interactions with revellers, door supervisors and licensees who overwhelmingly support this initiative.
“We have been handing out free items to the public, such as drinks covers. We are also in the process of receiving drink testing kits to help identify and deter spiking offences.
“We know many people visiting our licensed premises will be law abiding and just want to enjoy a good night out. However, for anyone intent on causing harm, our message is clear. We are proactively targeting inappropriate behaviour and raising the risk of you being caught.”
Op Night Guardian often runs in conjunction with Blackpool Council’s ‘Safer Taxis’ scheme, which offers safe transportation home for vulnerable revellers free of charge.
Cllr Neal Brookes, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member with responsibilities for Public Safety, said: “We place high importance on the safety of both our residents and visitors alike, as we want everyone to enjoy Blackpool’s night-time economy.
“The police along with the council’s Public Protection team and other organisations work extremely hard to protect people and tackle criminal or anti-social behaviour.
“One of the many schemes that supports these goals is the Safer Taxis scheme, which has been extremely successful with the full support of the taxi trade and contributes to safer nights for all.”