Police and council workers in Chester have joined forces to make sure that everyone who lives, works and visits the city has a safe Christmas.

Over the festive period, extra council and police staff will be on the streets of the city, offering people advice and guidance on a range of community safety issues.

The Festive Focus campaign covers issues such as how to move around the city safely and observe Covid-19 social distancing rules, through to how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and what to do.

Officers are talking with city centre workers, including taxi drivers, security staff and door supervisors about how to keep their customers safe by ensuring their workplaces are Covid-19 compliant. The Festive Focus team has also been handing out mini PPE gift packs.

At the same time, the team is promoting local domestic abuse campaigns, with stickers and posters being placed in taxis and venues telling people how to spot the signs and how to get help.

Cheshire West and Chester Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Robert Cernik, said: “We want people to have a safe and enjoyable time in Chester, whether they are visiting the city to work, shop, or for leisure. This Christmas is very different because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all must do as much as we can to reduce the spread of the virus.

“Our officers are encouraging everyone to observe social distancing rules, wear face coverings in public and wash or sanitise their hands regularly. It is only by working together, that we can beat the virus and look towards a return to normality.”

Digital screens in shop windows are also displaying several key safety messages about Covid-19, domestic abuse and staying safe on the roads.

Chief Inspector Gareth Wrigley, the lead for Chester Local Policing unit, said: “Christmas should be a time for celebration, but this time of year can be one of the hardest for victims of domestic abuse.

“Nobody should have to endure the pain and suffering of domestic abuse and I would say to all victims that now is the time to be brave, have a fresh start and begin the year by speaking out and putting a stop to it.

“Domestic abuse doesn’t have to stay behind closed doors. The team here at Chester, along with our partners, are here to help people get the support and assistance they need and to bring this hidden crime out into the open.”

The Festive Focus campaign has been made possible through funding from Cheshire West and Chester Community Safety Partnership.

Helen Brackenbury, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership, said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide extra funding to help towards the Festive Focus project keeping everyone visiting the city safe over the festive period.

“It is important that visitors to the city feel reassured and safe during their visit, especially as Christmas is looking very different this year”.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, added: “I know that this year has been a real challenge for many residents, and I hope this Christmas period will provide some much-needed cheer.

“Officers and frontline staff will be on duty helping to keep their communities safe over the festive period. Please help them to help you by following their safety advice and information

For information about COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing in Cheshire West and Chester, visit the Council’s website.

For information about support for people living with domestic abuse, visit: