Today’s columnist, Inspector Neil Mutch: Drink safely and stay in control

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The Sheffield Central Local Policing Team are used to facing high levels of demand all year round, but the next few months bring events that provide additional challenges as the number of people coming to the city centre increases.

These events provide a great boost for businesses and add to the vibrancy of Sheffield, with little impact upon policing. Others require additional resources to help keep people safe and this is something we are proud of, as Sheffield remains one of the safest cities in the country.

The biggest of these events is Tramlines, which is this weekend. Although the main event has moved to the Ponderosa, it is still in the Central area and colleagues from across the city will be working with us.

The many other venues that provide live music during the weekend will mean the city centre remains busy and a dedicated policing operation will be in place to support Tramlines and keep the city safe. If you see us this weekend on duty, why not come say hi or ask for a selfie for our social media pages?

Obviously, this is an event to enjoy and we understand that social drinking can be part of that.

However, excessive drinking can bring its issues and it can make people more vulnerable to crime.

We’ve been running the #DrinkSafeSY campaign throughout Euro 2016, and the same advice applies to the upcoming events including Tramlines, Sheffield Pride, Sheffield-by-the-Sea and Oktoberfest, next month.

Keep your wits about you, make sure your purses, wallets and phones are kept with you, and drink safely.

Much of our work on events like this involves close co-operation with the licensing trade, as many thousands of people come to enjoy the Sheffield nightlife.

As well as events, the Central LPT faces daily issues around antisocial behaviour, which can often increase during the summer months.

One of these issues is street begging and we’ve been working hard with partner agencies to identify vulnerable people with specific needs, to provide the services they require to help them look after themselves.

This has had some success so far, but we would encourage people to support the wider agencies and not give money to beggars.

Instead, give your donations to charities who work to provide the best support for vulnerable people and then you’ll know that your money is going directly towards helping people.

Ben’s Centre and the Archer project are two excellent local organisations.