AS THE advent calendars start, and decorations go up, South Yorkshire Police is reminding communities that it is not just Santa’s elves keeping an eye on members of the public this festive season.

Officers are launching a Christmas campaign to remind communities that drink driving, violent crime and public disorder will not be tolerated and those who try to ruin Christmas will be on the naughty list, arrested and prosecuted.

During December and January, as communities enjoy the festive celebrations, officers see an increase in 999 and 101 calls, with an increase recorded in alcohol related incidents as more people celebrate in pubs and enjoy their Christmas parties.

Each week, officers will be sharing tips on how people can stay safe this year and keep an eye out for those vulnerable people in the community.

Superintendent Paul McCurry, who is leading the force wide operation said: “Christmas is a time of year to celebrate with family and friends but it can also be the time of year that people make bad, life changing, regrettable decisions, and criminals within our communities target those who are vulnerable.

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“Frontline officers and staff behind the scenes will be working hard over the festive period to ensure that everyone can enjoy the celebrations safely.

“As part of our operation, roads policing officers will be increasing their patrols to catch those who think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, visits to licensed premises will be carried out, to remind them of their responsibilities in keeping the public safe and targeting the criminal use of motor vehicles on our roads.

“Please share the messages and take on board the safety advice we will be giving you over the coming weeks so we can all have a happy Christmas.”

In addition to the above operational duties, the public will also see an increased police presence, including armed response officers around crowded places, such as Christmas markets and shopping centres. This is not a response to any particular threats, they are there to offer the public reassurance and keep people safe.