POLICE in West Mercia and Warwickshire have joined forces to launch a safety campaign for the Christmas party season.

Operation Christmas Presence will put more officers on the streets and crack down on alcohol related crime in both force areas.

Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams, the officer in charge of the operation for both forces, said: "Everyone likes to go out at Christmas and have a good time with friends and family, but sometimes people drink too much and become careless, increasing their chances of becoming involved in crime.

"Because of this, there will be a visibly higher police presence on the streets over the festive period. We aim to make people feel safe and to reduce the number of alcohol related incidents.

Between December 20 and January 1 last Christmas, there were 1,750 alcohol-related incidents across the two force areas, He added: "I would advise people not to walk home alone - always walk in groups. Stick to the main roads and avoid shortcuts and unlit areas.

"If you get a cab home, remember that you are only insured if you phone ahead and book a taxi (i.e. a private hire vehicle) or if the taxi is a licensed hackney carriage. You can only flag down licensed hackney carriages (black cabs).

"Finally, don't drink and drive. The only safe amount of alcohol to drink when driving is none at all, so arrange for a designated driver or organise your transport home in advance."

For more advice on safety over the festive period, visit westmercia.pnn.police.uk.