‘Pre-loading’ drink warning to Christmas revellers

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REVELLERS are being warned not to put themselves at risk by drinking excessively at home before a Christmas night on the town.

“Pre-loading” – drinking before you leave the house – can make you vulnerable and more likely to become a victim of crime, or commit booze-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour yourself.

As a member of the Safer Lancashire Partnership, Lancashire Police is supporting the group’s festive “Make Your Night Last” campaign, which will run until the New Year.

Supt Bill McMahon, Lancashire Police’s lead on alcohol harm, said: “As more people tend to go out drinking over the festive period we often see an increase in alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

“The safety of people using our town centres at night time is of the utmost importance. This is why we are working closely with our other Safer Lancashire partners to make sure everyone has an enjoyable and safe night out.”

The campaign is based on the findings of research carried out by Lancaster University for the Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team, which showed a rise in the pre-loading trend of drinking before going to a bar or nightclub.

The trend often leads to people becoming very drunk earlier in the night and increased levels of crime and other risky behaviour.

Police will be carrying out highly visible patrols in the county’s town and city centres throughout December.

l Anyone with information or concerns about alcohol-related violence can contact police on 08451 253545 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.