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Crackdown on drivers with too much Christmas spirit

Cumbria Police are launching their Christmas crackdown on people who drive whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Credit: PA

To prevent a 'tragic Christmas' people are being asked to do their part for a campaign against drink driving.

Despite a national campaign every December people are still being caught having consumed an excess of alcohol or drugs whilst driving, according to police.

This year police will be steeping up their visibility around the county's pubs and speaking to landlords and their customers about the dangers of drink driving. They will also ask people to report anyone who they suspect is driving under the influence.

In December 2013, 2589 breath tests were administered which resulted in 97 people failing or refusing a test. This was more than the previous year where 85 people refused or failed the breathalyser test.

Of the 97 tests last December, 17 followed a crash. In 2012, this number was 23.

People are reminded that they can still be over the limit the morning after they've been drinking:

“One area of concern that we would like to highlight is the number of people who drive the morning after a night where they have been drinking. Many people will be attending Christmas and New Year parties during December and may have more to drink than usual. What many can underestimate is the effect that this has the following morning and some will get in a car thinking they will be fit to drive when they are in fact, still over the alcohol limit.

Our message is clear, don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs. It is easy to make alternative arrangements to get home. Don’t ruin your own or other people’s Christmas of by making a decision to drive whilst under the influence, it’s not worth it.”

– Sergeant Roberts, Cumbria Police

Outrageous assault - victim hospitalised

A man has been taken to hospital after being assaulted at a nightclub, Outrageous, in Carlisle.

On Sunday 23rd November at 3.15am police were called to the nightclub on English Street. A 22-year-old man had received serious injuries to his head and face during an alleged assault and was taken to Cumberland Infirmary.

A man, aged 36 from Carlisle, was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been bailed until 19th December 2014 while enquiries continue.

“The victim is recovering from his injuries and we are working to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident. We appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed what happened to get in touch.”

– DC Gary Taylor, Cumbria Police

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Be safe on Black Friday

People are being reminded to be careful when shopping on Black Friday.

In America, Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving in the US that kick-starts the Christmas season. To celebrate many American stores offer lots of heavily discounted one-day deals, but usually it’s only on one or two big star products.

Read: What is Black Friday?

It's a day which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Police Scotland have issued the following advice:

  • Use cash machines in well lit, non-secluded areas and stay alert.
  • Check the machine hasn't been tampered with, hide your PIN, beware of who is behind you and keep your cash out of view.
  • When you're out Christmas shopping, you might not realise how much all the presents you're carrying are worth - look after your shopping bags and don't leave them out of view.
  • If you're driving to the shops, park your car in a busy, well-lit area.
  • Don't keep any presents you've bought in the car for longer than you have to and always keep them out of view.
  • Ensure your bag in closed and not easily accessible when not being used.

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Car drives on pavement towards 14-year-olds

Witnesses are being asked to come forward after a car drove along a pavement in Dumfries towards a group of 14-year-olds.

The incident happened around 1.35pm on 26th November on Rosevale Street. Police say that seven 14-year-old pupils from St Josephs College were walking on the pavement when a small, dark blue coloured car, in the style of a Toyota Auris, drove along the pavement towards them, before pulling off and driving off at speed.

It follows an earlier incident which took place outside the Spar shop on Rosevale Street where the driver of this vehicle had spoke with the boys.

The driver is described as:

  • Being between 5’9” and 6’ tall
  • Skinny build
  • Between 50/60 years of age
  • Short grey
  • Untidy hair
  • Local accent
  • Wearing dark rimmed glasses, a mid length light coloured jacket and jeans.

“Thankfully no-one was injured in this incident, however it could have been a catastrophe. I am appealing to anyone who can help us identify the driver of this vehicle to call us on 101, or indeed the driver himself to come forward to explain his actions.”

– Constable Stephen Easthill, School Liaison Officer for St Josephs

Dating website users: 'Do the right thing'

Cumbria Police is advising people to 'do the right thing' when meeting someone from a dating website. Credit: PA

People who use dating websites are being warned to act appropriately when meeting in someone in person.

It's a part of a hard hitting campaign by Cumbria Police warning potential violent or sexual offenders to 'do the right thing' or face the consequences.

Police in north Cumbria have received five reports of sexual offences since the start of September, which refer to casual dating and meeting websites.

Within these reports have been incidents where 12-year-olds have pretended to be over 18-years-old and engaged in sexual discussions.

“Social dating sites have featured in a number of investigations regarding rape and sexual assaults in recent weeks. Men and women are talking to complete strangers and then meeting up in person – sometimes with very different intentions

These type of websites and apps are a popular way of meeting people, however there is always a strong element of risk when meeting up with a stranger you have met online. My message is that if you are meeting up with someone for the first time that, no matter how sexual your conversations may have been, you should never force your expectations on that person. If someone is uncomfortable or unwilling, or too intoxicated to fully consent, there is no excuse for continuing. Anything less than a ‘yes’ is a ‘no’.

I would also encourage people who are meeting someone that they have spoken to online to make sure that someone knows where you are, to meet in a public place, and take other reasonable measures to keep yourself safe.”

– DI Colin Ritchie, Cumbria Police

With Christmas around the corner and many children receiving new gadgets, parents are urged to be aware of the dangers of the internet.

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Further appeal for witnesses to Carlisle burglary

On Monday 17th November, two men wearing balaclavas entered a house on The Nook, Belah Crescent, and stole money and jewellery. Credit: ITV Border

As investigations continue into an aggravated burglary in Carlisle, police are asking for witnesses to help trace the suspects.

On Monday 17th November, two men wearing balaclavas entered a house on The Nook, Belah Crescent, and stole money and jewellery.

  • Anyone who may have seen two men in dark clothing at, or around, a driveway between 167 and 177 Scotland Road, between 5pm and 6pm on 17th November.
  • · Anyone who can provide details of a Ford Flatback pick-up truck which was seen heading into Carlisle twice, going past between 167 and 177 Scotland Road at both 4:50pm and 5pm, and then out of town at 6pm. Police are also asking for the driver of that vehicle to make contact with the police as they may have information that could be of use to the investigation.
  • Appeal for the driver of a silver Landrover, which was coming out of the junction of Beechwood Avenue, Carlisle, and turning right onto Scotland Road at 6:55pm, to make contact as they may be a valuable witness just after the burglary.

“I would like to thank the public for their help in this investigation so far, and I hope someone will be able to help us trace the suspects by providing this valuable information. As previously stated these type of incidents are thankfully rare in Cumbria, and the victims continue to be supported by their family, and are in close contact with our officers.”

– DS Ginelle Ward, Cumbria Police

Careful of 'free trials' warns council

"If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.” Credit: PA

People in Cumbrian are being urged to be avoid ‘free’ trials of goods after some people have been charged up to £95 a month for “free” products.

Shoppers are invited to sign up for a free trial of a product where they’ll pay around £5 for postage and packing. But unless the trial is cancelled within 14 days, monthly payments may be made automatically which could be anything up to £95 a month.

Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards team is urging shoppers to read the terms and conditions when signing up for a supposed ‘free' trial.

If people are worried they’ve been targeted by this type of scam, they should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

"This typically happens on the internet. It’s a widespread problem. The scams involve all kinds of products including anti-ageing miracle creams and serums, health supplements and slimming aids. They’re different products, but all the scams are virtually all the same.

When the product arrives the paperwork contains the small print or terms and conditions. This type of scam is operating on a wide scale and the companies doing this are often based abroad, some as far away as the USA. Consumers should be on their guard; if it mentions repeat billing and it’s a free trial that requires you to cancel then it’s probably a scam.

If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. A free trial could end up costing you a lot of money.”

– Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards

Bogus workmen warning for the festive period

People in the Scottish Borders are being urged to look out for bogus workmen over the festive period. Credit: PA

People in the Scottish Borders are being urged to look out for bogus workmen over the festive period.

In particular the community is asked to look out for vulnerable people being targeted.

It follows a recent incident where neighbours of an elderly couple in Oatlands Terrace noticed a group of men carrying out work on the outside of their house. They were suspicious and contacted the police, who found out that the group of men had charged a large three-figure sum to do the work.

Three men were then charged under the Consumer Protection Act and will appear in court at a later date.

"Whilst we are in no way looking to cast suspicion on legitimate tradesman, bogus workmen actively target those in our communities who they regard as vulnerable and offer to carry out genuine work for over inflated prices and very often this is done to a sub standard of workmanship.

By highlighting to family, contacting police or indeed trading standards we can ensure that only legitimate tradesmen carry out work for homeowners within our communities.

I would also ask all members of the public never to allow cold-callers to carry out unsolicited work on your home and always check the identification of anyone claiming to be a tradesman. If you are not entirely satisfied with who they claim to be do not allow them entry to your property and contact police."

– Inspector Tony Hodges, Police Scotland

'We will target you for your offences. It is in your hands'

A new campaign by Cumbria Police is warning sexual or violent offenders to 'do the right thing' or face the consequences.

It focuses on domestic violence and sexual assaults and aims to make clear that the victim is never to blame by saying that men must take responsibility for their actions.

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