Revellers in Swindon are to be given a late-night survival kit in an attempt to reduce the number of incidents and injuries in the town centre.
The kit, which will start to be handed out on Friday night, 8 February, will contain bottled water, personal attack alarms, condoms, lollipops and flip-flops.
Each item serves a purpose for people using the pubs and clubs in the town centre. Alcohol dehydrates people and the water will help to counteract this, the condoms promote safe sex and the personal attack alarm ensures that if a person feels threatened, the device should draw attention to the situation.
Alcohol also reduces blood sugar levels, which can make people more aggressive and the lollipops help to rapidly increase blood sugar levels, producing a calming effect. The flip-flops are supplied because many women kick off their shoes during an evening and walk home in their bare feet, sometimes sustaining injuries requiring medical attention.
Swindon Community Safety Partnership has adopted the idea as it has been used successfully by Conwy Community Safety Partnership in North Wales, and other areas of the country. The project will be trialled on Friday, 8 February and Saturday, 9 February. Two pubs in the town centre are supporting the project, Walkabout and Revolution, and the packs will also be carried by Street Pastors.
If the project is successful it is hoped it will be used at other key times during the year. There are only limited supplies of the packs so they will be given to people identified by the pubs and Street Pastors as needing this kit.
This project forms part of ongoing work the Community Safety Partnership is undertaking in the town centre. Street lighting in key areas has been improved, the three strikes initiative continues to target persistent offenders in the town centre, and Fleet Street has been closed to vehicles at key times to make the area safer for pedestrians.
Councillor Colin Lovell, Cabinet Member for Community and Neighbourhoods, said: "This project is a demonstration of the holistic approach we take when dealing with the night time economy in Swindon to ensure it is a safe place to enjoy."
Chief Supt Paul Howlett, Basic Command Unit (BCU) Commander for Swindon Police said: "We are committed to ensuring that people using this area feel safe, and are continually working with our partners to explore innovative ways to do this. Swindon Police are pleased to support this initiative to help people enjoy the town safely."