As Christmas Day fast approaches, Bedfordshire Police is gearing up for one of its busiest times of year for certain types of crime – including violent, domestic and road-related offences.
This time of year also provides numerous opportunities for the force to support the community, at festive events.
Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst said: “This Christmas, as is the case every year, we will have men and women across all ranks and roles giving up their own family time to protect the public.
“We are all a part of the policing family, and will be supporting those working during Christmas and New Year to keep others safe.
"This Friday (20 December) is known in the emergency services as ‘Mad Friday’, when many people make the most of the last pay day of the year to enjoy festivities in Bedfordshire’s pub and club hotspots, so it will be a particularly busy time for us.
“Christmas is a happy period for most, however, we know that some people live through their darkest moments or worst experiences at this time of year, and we are here to support victims of crime, people in crisis or those in sudden need of our help.”
Throughout 2019, the force has already received more than 107,000 999 and more than 200,000 101 calls.
This year the force has made more than 8,000 arrests and secured hundreds of years’ worth of jail time for offenders, taking the most dangerous people off the streets
In addition, victim service Signpost has helped support over 2,500 victims of crime, including providing 52 victims with Restorative Justice support.
DCC Rodenhurst added: “Over the festive period, it’ll be great to see our officers out and about at the county’s nightspots, helping everyone celebrate safely and responsibly.
"Our officers and Special Constable volunteers will be patrolling the nightspot districts, so please do say hello when you are enjoying your office parties and celebrations with friends.
"Remember that there is no excuse for violence, and that a cell is no place to spend Christmas Day!
“Our detectives will also be working flat out, as our investigations do not stop for the festivities.
"Unfortunately, we tend to see a spike in domestic abuse cases at this time of year, when the pressure of the season gets too much for some. It’s worth knowing that we are always here to help, so please don’t hesitate to speak out and report abuse of any kind. We have specially-trained officers to support you.
“And of course, our roads policing officers will be busy across the three counties to keep our roads safe.
"Please don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel after a Christmas drink – it is not worth the risk to yourself or others, and our teams are already out and ready to stop anyone who does so.
“Finally, I want to thank all those who will be working or volunteering in any capacity this festive season, and the community for their support this year.
"I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.”
Follow the hashtag #KeepingBedsSafe to see all the ways the force has been protecting people and fighting crime this festive season.