The glasses will be carrying a domestic abuse messages the which not only aims to encourage victims to report the crime, but also encourage their friends or family to report their concerns.
The message urges those who are victims to “Speak out, we will listen” with #YouMatter, whilst also appealing to friends or family in the line “Don’t ignore domestic abuse”
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gadd from the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said: “We are committed to tackling domestic abuse in its many forms and it is the forces main priority. By using a domestic abuse message on the glasses we are firstly encouraging victims of abuse, whether physical or mental to call us and seek support. We will listen and with our partners provide support to break the cycle of abuse.
“At the same time we are also trying to get family and friends to play their part to by calling the force if they suspect a loved one is the perpetrator or victim of domestic assault. The message is simple – Don’t ignore domestic abuse. Hopefully people will take heed of this message and we can take action to support victims of abuse and bring offenders to justice.”
The glasses were first introduced in Hull in 2008 to further reduce the rare incidents of traditional glasses being used as a weapon in licensed premises. The damage caused by such incidents was substantial, with the potential for loss of sight and lifelong scars, in comparison with the bruising if the same offence is committed with a polycarbonate glass. It has been estimate in the past each glassing incident costs in excess of £500,000.
Inspector Alex Weeks from Humberside Police Community Safety said: “Polycarbonate glasses are very similar to real glasses – in fact you might not even know you’re drinking from one, however on the rare occasions that people are assaulted with a polycarbonate experience shows that they end up with bruising rather than lacerations or the loss of sight both of which last for life.
“Assaults with glasses can result in a massive cost to the Health Service, often running into the hundreds of thousands of pounds are significantly reduced and most importantly people who would now have impaired vision do not. The polycarbonate rollout project has been partnership working at its best and provided excellent value for money and has undoubtedly helped keep people safe on nights out.”
The funding for the new glasses has come from the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioners Office.
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “I was pleased earlier this year to grant £10,000 funding for polycarbonate glasses to be issued across the Humberside Police Force area. Although this type of glass has been in use for some time there are still many licensed establishments which do not use them and I hope this latest campaign will encourage them to do so.
“The benefits to everyone are obvious and the investment made is very worthwhile compared to the potential damage caused.”
The polycarbonate glasses are not only safer they are also more durable lasting up to 4 times longer than glass, due to being virtually unbreakable, which means less breakages, fewer replacement costs and less time cleaning up smashed glass. Other advantages of the new glasses are that they stack and have insulating qualities that will help to keep drinks cooler.
Insp Weeks added: “We hope that pubs and clubs will then step up and demonstrate their commitment to providing a safer drinking environment by investing in these safer glasses.”