09 Dec Colchester comes together to ‘See You Safer’ on a night out this winter
A major multi-partnership campaign to help people feel safer when enjoying a night out in Colchester has been launched this winter.
The #SeeYouSafer campaign has been launched by the One Colchester partnership, a multi-agency group including Colchester Borough Council, and representatives from Fire, Police, Probation, Health, Education, Business, Voluntary Services and the cultural sector.
Like a number of other popular towns and cities across the country, Colchester has seen an increase in reported issues connected to the night time economy, including incidents of drink spiking and violent or sexual assault.
The #SeeYouSafer campaign, which is also set to be rolled out across other parts of Essex, will be promoting key messages for people to enjoy a great night out knowing that help and support is available to keep themselves and their friends safe.
The campaign will include workshops for local night-time venues as well as drop-in advice clinics for those concerned about coming into the town centre and for those wanting to know the signs to look out for regarding potential issues.
A series of videos will also be created and promoted across social media, and merchandise handed out designed to share knowledge, spark discussions about looking after each other and personal responsibility – with a focus on helping everyone enjoy a safer night out.
Through the campaign the Safer Colchester Partnership – part of One Colchester – will show how staff in pubs, bars and clubs across the town are there to keep partygoers safe and that unacceptable behaviour which puts others at risk will not be tolerated.
The first ‘drop-in’ event takes place between 11am to 1pm on Saturday, 11 December in Culver Street West. Representatives from Essex Police, East of England Ambulance Service and the ‘See You Safer’ promotional team will be available. Businesses and the public will be able to find out more about the measures in place to protect them and how to stay safe when out during this festive season and beyond.
Visitors to the stand can learn more about supporting their friends, advice on safe travel options, responsible drinking and learn about the potential implications of drunken behaviour around minesweeping, drink spiking, violent behaviour and more.
Pam Donnelly, Chair of ONE Colchester and Strategic Director of Customer & Relationships, said: “We know people want to enjoy themselves after the restrictions of lockdown, but sadly we have seen and heard too many stories of incidents happening when people have been out on the town recently.
“Colchester is a fantastic place to come and enjoy a night out with friends and family, and we want to make sure that people feel they can do that safely.
“It is vital that we reassure people that Colchester is a safe and fun place to be and send a loud and clear message to those causing trouble or harm to others they are not welcome.
“The #SeeYouSafer campaign is just part of the work being undertaken with partners and venues to give people that reassurance they may need right now. I am also pleased we are leading the way for others to drive home the message of how to enjoy a safe night home across the county.”
Cllr Beverley Oxford, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, added: “Keeping everyone safe when they are out enjoying themselves this festive and winter season, is a top priority.
“Everyone has a part to play in making sure that nightlife in and around Colchester is a fun, safe and welcoming experience for all. This campaign will help promote how revellers can enjoy themselves safely with the support of their friends, businesses and variety of services there to help.”
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, said: “Colchester is a vibrant and exciting town with lots for visitors and locals to enjoy.
“We all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe and this project is a great example of businesses, charities, the Council and our emergency services coming together with the community to ensure that everybody can have a safe, enjoyable and fun night out.
“Keeping people safe and preventing crime is a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan and investing in community projects such as this is an important part of delivering the safe and secure communities that we all want to live in.”