Drink safe message for women

JONATHAN REDHEAD Characters with names such as Vod Carr and Stellah Attwah have been created by police - in a bid to encourage women to take care on nights out drinking.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Characters with names such as Vod Carr and Stellah Attwah have been created by police - in a bid to encourage women to take care on nights out drinking.

The alcohol-themed characters and others such as Sam Boo'Ka and WK Dee feature in a new magazine launched by Suffolk police yesterday

to offer safety advice and guidance to female revellers across the county.

But a senior officer said that behind the "fun" exterior the new magazine, called Safe!, was serious, hard-hitting message.

Chief Supt David McDonnell, head

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of operations for Suffolk police,

said more needed to be done to raise alcohol awareness and the magazine would seek to encourage women

to think about and plan their night

out - and aim to help them avoid dangers of enjoying themselves too much.

"Our approach to alcohol fuelled violence and disorder during our Summer of Zero Tolerance campaign - early intervention and no acceptance of anti-social behaviour - has proved successful," he said.

"However, we are conscious that alcohol can play a part in people's social lives, including young women.

"We need to raise their awareness of potential problems and of the fact that they become more vulnerable whilst under the influence of alcohol.

"The idea for the introduction of a personal safety magazine came about following a few very high profile criminal cases across the country, in which the victims were women who were subjected to violent, sexual assaults where alcohol was a contributory factor.

"We would like to reassure people that incidents such as this are very rare in Suffolk, which remains one of the safest counties in the country."

Aimed at women over 18, Safe! will be distributed across the county at pubs and clubs, licensed premises, schools, colleges and supermarkets.

It starts with a message from editor Vod Carr and features articles from Sam Boo'Ka and Stellah Attwah, as well as advice on booking a taxis and telephone numbers for advice lines including Alcoholics Anonymous and the Domestic Violence and Abuse Helpline.

Police have produced the magazine in connection with partners to their Nightsafe scheme, including Suffolk County Council.

Joanna Spicer, the council's portfolio holder for public protection, said: "We want to make sure that young women take care of themselves and their friends when they are out drinking, and this magazine will help to get across some key safety messages to them in a direct way."