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929 violent crimes in Bournemouth town centre last year
A POLICE campaign to combat alcohol-related violent crime and injury has been launched in Bournemouth at the start of the hectic summer season.
Nearly 1,700 crimes of assault, affray and public order offences were committed in so-called night-time economy areas across Dorset last year with most – 929 – taking place in Bournemouth town centre.
The area has become the focal point for the campaign which urges revellers to “Enjoy your night – stay out of trouble”.
Posters are now being displayed in pubs, bars and clubs and on lampposts. They will also be placed in university buildings and halls of residence from September.
“All too often we have to arrest people in the town centre who have had too much to drink and decide to cause trouble or get into fights” said Inspector Dean O’Connor.
“People have been left with extremely serious injuries as a result of drunken violence so it is important we do everything we can to reduce these offences.”
Horrific crimes include an attack which left 23-year-old Maximillian Ruas in a coma with bleeding on the brain after three youths stamped on his head as he made his way home from a nightclub.
A 30-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries during a violent assault in Bournemouth Gardens and a man was left for dead and found unconscious in Cambridge Road.
Artwork used in the campaign features a male character, who represents an alcohol-fuelled, violent offender, in various situations.
He is shown getting into a fight, being arrested and in a police cell.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t enjoy a night out,” added Insp O’Connor, “but they shouldn’t drink to the extent that they wake up in a police cell the following morning.”
A similar, award-winning campaign last year, which targeted alcohol-related sexual offences, saw a 31 per cent reduction in serious sexual violence across the county compared with the previous year.
The new campaign is part of Operation Protect, Dorset Police ’s approach to reducing serious and violent crime in Dorset.
Insp O’Connor added: “This campaign supports our aim of making Bournemouth town centre a safe place for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“However, members of the public must also take responsibility for their own actions and take measures to stay safe and not commit offences.”