STAFFORDSHIRE Police are gearing up for one of their busiest nights of the year as revellers prepare to let their hair down for Christmas.
A busy “Black Friday” is in store for emergency services this weekend as many people will be breaking up from work, college or university for the festive season.
The force’s area control rooms are prepared to deal with an increase in emergency calls in town centres across the county and Safer Nights operations will see officers on hand to deal with any issues.
On the equivalent night last year, Friday 21 December 2012, 414 999 calls were received in Staffordshire between 2pm and 7am on Saturday 22 December 2012.
Revellers are being urged to reduce their chances of falling victim to crime by staying vigilant and drinking responsibly.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: "We want people to enjoy themselves but we also want them to stay safe and be responsible.
"If you’re heading out to start your festive celebrations please make sure you do so with consideration for others – or you could end up with more than just a hangover.
"Officers are working around the clock together with local establishments to keep the town centres a safe and pleasurable place to be. Their high-visibility patrols will offer reassurance and they will deal with any trouble makers. Alcohol-related violence is completely unacceptable at any time of the year and Christmas is no exception.
"We want our communities to have a happy, and safe, Christmas and New Year, and we will do our utmost to make sure town centres remain an enjoyable place to be."