A new campaign gets underway in Derbyshire this month to increase the safety of students and young people on a night out.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa - national lead for PCCs on alcohol and substance misuse - is launching a Month of Action in September to coincide with the start of the academic year.
The campaign will tackle alcohol-related crime and help prevent drink-fuelled violence by making freshers' and other students aware of the safety measures in place to protect them.
The activity got underway yesterday (Sept 6) when the Commissioner met new recruits from the DrinkAware Crew scheme as they underwent initial training. All members of the Crew are fellow students and are paid for by the Students Union.
The scheme, run by national charity DrinkAware, involves the specialist training of club hosts who work in bars and clubs to reduce drunken and antisocial behaviour among young people aged 18 to 24 and help keep them safe. The work involves supporting customers who are vulnerable, possibly because of alcohol, and ensuring guests leave safely after closing time.
Later in the month (September 18 and 19) up to 2,500 new students at Derby University Students Union (SU) will be invited to sign up to the 18+ Citizen Card.
The new ID scheme is being jointly run by the Commissioner, Students Union and the Constabulary. It is open to all registered students to apply and will provide students with a free proof of age card to save them carrying passports and driving licenses and reduce their risk of identity theft. In a national first, the card will be available immediately.
On the same day, the Commissioner will attend Derby University's Welcome Fair to promote the safety messages behind his Safe Night Out campaign which encourages revellers to drink sensibly and avoid becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime.
Commenting on the Month of Action, Mr Dhindsa said: "Derbyshire is a safe place to live and study and young people here face no more risk than in any other part of the country. However, it's long been recognised that alcohol can increase the vulnerability of students and young people generally and leave them at increased risk of being either a victim or perpetrator of crime and that's something we are robustly managing.
"We have a number of schemes underway across Derbyshire to help protect young people on a night out but we can only encourage people to heed the advice or help being offered. It is up to each young person whether or not they take their personal security as seriously as they should and take steps to reduce the risk.
"Throughout the month we hope to make this message very clear and highlight some of the practical steps young people can take to ensure their university or college years aren't damaged or destroyed by crime."