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Drinkers are being urged to keep them #selfie safe this summer in a photo portrait campaign showing how excess alcohol can turn booze binges at bars to a stretch behind bars.
The campaign − Don’t get your #selfie into trouble this summer − plots the nights out of three partygoers through a series of ‘selfie’ snaps and illustrates how blurred, drunken decisions can have life-changing consequences.
It focuses on drinking responsibly this summer, looking after friends and taking care when heading home − and stresses that police will take a tough stance on violence.
And with the Brazil World Cup seeing many late-evening kick-offs on British TV − including England’s opening match against Italy next Saturday (June 14) − the warning about setting a sensible drinking pace and staying in control is even more pertinent.
West Midlands Police campaign lead, Chief Inspector Sean Russell, said: “It happens all too often: fun nights out turning sour because people’s judgement is clouded by alcohol and they end up getting embroiled in situations they’d normally avoid.
“When drinking to excess fights can be sparked by the most insignificant things − a spilt drink, a stray glance or a football-related argument. It’s no excuse to say it was ‘the alcohol talking’ and anyone involved in violence can expect to spend at least one night in a police cell − and possibly much longer in a prison cell.
“There have been some tragic cases of people being killed or seriously hurt in disorder at pubs and clubs − and people with no previous criminal history can end up spending a long time in prison for just a single alcohol-fuelled punch."
The #selfie campaign features Ramona on her girlie night out; England fan Dave cheering the Three Lions at a busy footy pub; and Hughie enjoying an evening with his girlfriend − but all three end up in police custody.
Binge drinking results in Ramona slapping a girl who ‘photo-bombs’ her picture with a pal; Dave is arrested when a row over team selection boils over; and Hughie ends up behind bars after swinging for a guy who eyes up his partner.
Chief Insp Russell, added: These are all classic examples of how alcohol can ruin nights and, potentially, lives. Hopefully the picture campaign will hit home with revellers and press home the messages about sensible, controlled drinking this summer."
A-frame billboard trailers featuring campaign artwork will tour the West Midlands throughout the summer − focusing on night-spots in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry − supported by poster and postcard marketing.
Social media users can follow the three nightmare night-out stories in ‘real-time’ on Friday and Saturday nights − and on England World Cup match days − particularly Instagram and Twitter.
And the force has warned that anyone causing trouble whilst watching World Cup games at venues across the region faces being arrested and banned from town or city centres on match-days for the duration of the tournament.
Dispersal orders give officers power to move on people they believe to be drunk and an anti-social behaviour risk…and forbid them from returning to the area for up to 48 hours.
And anyone arrested could be handed bail conditions which make venues screening matches a no-go zone for the duration of the tournament.
Chief Insp Russell, said: “The majority of football fans and England supporters are passionate about the team, want to cheer them on and enjoy the tournament. Anyone who jeopardises that through their poor behaviour or violence will be punished and, using police dispersal powers, potentially banned from town or city centres for the duration of the event."
If you are a victim or a witness to an incident involving violence, it is vital that you call the police straight away on 999. We will treat your call as a priority and will respond immediately if the incident is recent or if the offender is nearby.
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