Drinkers are being filmed by police on the streets of Ipswich to highlight how vulnerable they are
Paralytic Ipswich revellers are being shown footage of themselves shot on police body cameras in an effort to get them to think about their safety.
Suffolk officers have been taking part in ‘Vulnerability Nights’ where the focus is on drunken individuals who have potentially left themselves open to being victims of crime.
This ranges from people whose cash and cards could be stolen to those who are potentially the targets of muggers and others who leave themselves vulnerable to sexual opportunists.
Police in Ipswich will be out again next week in the fourth time since December when the initiative began.
It is part of a raft of moves to cut down the risk of people becoming victims while on nights out.
Suffolk Constabulary is working with public health organisations on various campaigns, one of which is with the Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce repeat demand from vulnerable adults.
Sergeant Jo Towell, who is part of Ipswich’s night-time economy team, said: “We have carried out three Vulnerability Nights, two in Ipswich and a combined one in Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket. There will be another one running on April 25.
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“We are trying to highlight to individuals how vulnerable they could potentially be. We are looking at people who are sitting down at the side of the road with their mobile phones and belongings a few feet away from them. We then record them.
“Most of them probably don’t remember we have had that interaction. We follow it up a week or so later with NORCAS (a substance abuse charity) to see if they have an issue with alcohol and to offer the chance to look at themselves on the night to see if they understand what has made them vulnerable.
“A picture paints a thousands words. A couple of people have watched the footage and have been absolutely horrified.
“Their view of the night is very different from the reality and I think it really shocked them.
“One was an 18-year-old on his first night out in town. He said ‘I’m not going to go drinking like that again’.”