Friday December 20, or ‘Black Eye Friday’ as it is often known, is one of the most popular nights for Christmas celebrations, but also one of the busiest nights for calls to the police as a result of alcohol-fuelled disagreements and disruption.
Each year, North Yorkshire Police sees an increase in 999 calls of more than 30 per cent on the last Friday before Christmas – a trend which is experienced by police and ambulance control rooms across the UK.
As part of the force’s Christmas safety campaign, North Yorkshire Police is urging people to take care of their friends throughout the festive period, a message which is being further highlighted ahead of Black Eye Friday.
North Yorkshire Police, Assistant Chief Constable Annette Anderson said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy socialising and celebrating the festivities safely so we’re asking you to keep your Christmas cheer, keep safe and look out for your friends when you’re making the most of our region’s pubs and bars this season.
“Christmas is a time when we think about other people and this is the focus of our messages this year. Our teams and officers are on hand 24/7 and will be working hard to keep our communities free from crime so please support them by taking care of yourself, your home, your friends, your family and your local area so we can all have a safe and happy Christmas.”
Increased numbers of officers will be patrolling the busy town and city centre streets of the county this evening and police have also been working with licensees to help keep their patrons safe whilst celebrating.
PC Deborah Chadwick is part of North Yorkshire Police’s Alcohol Licensing Unit. She said: “We are always in close contact with licensees across the region, working in partnership to ensure that the public can enjoy visiting their local pubs and bars in safety. In the run up to Christmas, neighbourhood teams across the force have been engaging in operations to provide reassurance to both the public and venue owners. One example of this is the loaning of knife wands for use by security staff. North Yorkshire has a very low rate of knife crime and schemes like this are just one of the ways in which we are working hard to make sure it stays that way.”