Police issue safety advice for a happy St Patrick’s Day

Police in Birmingham are wishing the region’s Irish community a happy St Patrick’s Day and encouraging those who join the city’s celebrations to have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Digbeth High Street is once again hosting celebrations for this year’s parade on Sunday (16th March) and local officers will be out and about to make sure the estimated 65,000 revellers taking part can do so in a safe and secure environment.

Police have been working with the event organisers, city council, licensees and other emergency services to prepare for the festivities and are today issuing the following advice for those attending the event:

* If arriving by car, drive safely and always park considerately.
* Make sure car windows and sunroofs are secured.
* Never leave valuables on show in cars.
* Be aware of personal belongings.
* Always make sure handbags are secured and never leave wallets in back pockets.
* If drinking, pace yourself and alternate alcoholic with soft drinks.
*Stay with your friends and pre-book a taxi home.
* Never be tempted to drink and drive.

Inspector Paul Dutton, who is responsible for policing in the Digbeth area, said: “As with any event we are issuing advice to revellers so that St Patrick’s Day is enjoyed by all those who join the celebrations. We want people to have a good time on Sunday and stay safe. Our officers will be out patrolling the area and available to deal with any concerns.”

Officers from across the force along with volunteer special constables  will be supporting the Digbeth neighbourhood policing team who will be posted on every street corner.

To help with the clear-up operation, bars will be operating a restricted entry for two hours from 4pm where access will be refused to anyone who is not inside by that time. During this time, off-licences in the area will not be selling alcohol. By pubs doing this, officers hope to have Digbeth High Street − a major arterial route – open ready for the close of the shops in the city centre and the associated surge in traffic.

To keep traffic disruption to a minimum, parade staff will be enforcing rolling road closures as the procession winds its way through the streets.

A route map, timings and other useful information can be found at: www.stpatricksbirmingham.com

For live updates on the day’s policing operation, follow @brumpolice on Twitter.