Keeping people safe at one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment events is the purpose of a policing operation on the Isle of Wight during the week ahead.
Police are working alongside organisers, security staff and fellow emergency services at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week sailing regatta.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector for the Cowes area, Inspector Terry Clawson said: “Cowes Week is a lively occasion where the vast majority of people enjoy themselves safely and responsibly. Whenever large crowds gather at an event of this nature, police have a duty to help maintain public safety. We have extra high visibility foot and cycle patrols during the regatta to deter a small minority of people who may try to spoil Cowes Week, and deal with any problems that may be reported.”
The front office of Cowes Police Station on Birmingham Road is open to the public from 12pm to 6pm on each day of Cowes Week between Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 13.
Inspector Clawson added: “We also welcome the involvement of ‘Street Pastors’ during Cowes Week for a third year. Street Pastors are independent and do not work for the police, but their presence and contact with people on the street makes a difference in preventing and calming situations where there is the potential for crime and disorder.”
Know your limits with alcohol
The police licensing team are working in Cowes throughout the week to help ensure high professional standards are maintained in pubs and bars. Isle of Wight Police Licensing Sergeant Mark Voller has given advice to licensees about preventing injuries with polycarbonate and plastic glasses, the important role of registered door staff in preventing disorder, and bar staff stopping sales of alcohol to people who are drunk or under 18.
Cowes Week forms part of the force’s summer drink drive campaign during which the Roads Policing Unit is asking how much is a life worth?
Inspector Martin Goodall of the Roads Policing Unit said: “If you choose to drive to and from Cowes Week under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re more likely to crash and more likely to kill or seriously injure yourself, your friends and other people on the road. It’s totally unacceptable and not worth the risk. We’ll have posters around Cowes to remind drivers about the dangers, and officers are patrolling the roads to enforce the law.”
Personal safety and security
Regatta revellers are reminded to keep any valuables in secure places out of sight. Opportunist thieves can target crowds of people enjoying themselves because they expect potential victims to be less vigilant.
Cowes Week in 2009 was affected by a scam where purses were stolen from members of the public who later received cold calls from men falsely claiming to be bank security staff and police officers. The callers ask victims for their PIN number by making them believe this information is needed to examine and cancel the stolen credit or debit card. In one case, a woman disclosed her PIN number and lost £250 before her bank cancelled the stolen card.
The police do not need to know PIN numbers to investigate the loss or theft of cards, and the banks do not need this information to cancel stolen cards. The only person who needs to know the PIN number is the card’s rightful owner.
Sailors are asked not to leave valuable items, such as petrol supplies and navigation equipment, unattended on board their vessels. Boat owners should take the time to label their belongings. This helps to avoid unnecessary alerts over suspicious unidentified packages. Please report any concerns to the police so officers can respond swiftly.
Hampshire Constabulary is grateful for the support of regatta organisers in delivering crime prevention messages to the marine community as part of the force’s Project Kraken. http://www.hampshire.police.uk/Internet/advice/kraken/
Concerns about any crime or disorder can be reported to police by phoning 101. In an emergency, call 999.
From outside Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, call police on 0845 045 45 45. Mini-Com users can call the police on 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
The local Cowes Safer Neighbourhoods team can be emailed via firstname.lastname@example.org.