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Cardiff police help Latvian authorities police Riga city
15 Jan 2009


Two Cardiff police officers are heading to Latvia to share information with the local police force on how South Wales polices the late-night economy.

Chief Inspector Steve Murray and Licensing Sergeant Trevor Jones have been asked to visit the country’s capital to speak with local officers about how they manage alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Both officers, who are based in Cardiff Central, will visit the capital Riga, which is becoming increasingly popular with British hen and stag parties.

Chief Inspector Steve Murray said: “Latvia, and Riga in particular, has seen a rise in the number of visits by groups of people on hen and stag parties. Naturally this has had an impact on their night-time economy and also on policing the capital city.

“We have been invited over in a consultancy capacity to demonstrate how we deal with our night-time economy as we have been recognised by the Home Office for best practice.”

The visit in the spring is being financed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In one incident in Riga, three drunken British tourists attacked and hospitalised a uniformed police officer.

“Their behaviour becomes more and more shameless. I believe that in the situation of violence against the police officer, the suspects should be detained,” the city’s police chief Ints Kuzis said.

“It is worrying that the number of cases of foreign nationals ignoring any human norms and regulations and showing disrespect to the people around them is increasing,” added Riga City Mayor Janis Birks.

Over the last 18 months, representatives from around 15 UK police forces have visited Cardiff for an insight into how officers police the city centre at night, with schemes such as Cardiff After Dark, the ‘traffic light’ system and road closures.

Alcohol-related incidents in all Cardiff licensed premises have decreased by 18 per cent in the last 12 months.

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