Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Flip-flops to stop tipsy feeling

Flip flops
Flip flops will replace "inappropriate" footwear say police

Late night revellers in a Devon resort are being offered flip-flops to help them get home.

Police in Torquay say it makes it easier for women, rather than struggling along in high heels.

Campaigners The Taxpayers' Alliance said the 30,000 cost of the scheme was an "idiotic waste of money".

Police say it is part of a wider package of the measures including advice on safer sex and a police team who have reduced crime.

The flip-flops, which will be given out from December, will have messages about safe alcohol limits printed on them.

The footwear will be paid for by 30,000 of funding secured from the Home Office by Safer Communities Torbay, an alliance of local authority, police and health services.

The scheme is the latest late-night policing idea in Torbay where "mop cops" order people who urinate in the street to clean up after themselves.

Matthew Elliott of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "This is an idiotic waste of money.

This is part of a forward-thinking, innovative partnership to make it a safer place to be
Supt Chris Singer

"People don't pay taxes for drunk women to get free flip-flops, they want police to fight crime.

"Police aren't there to be an emergency supply of flat shoes."

Supt Chris Singer, Torbay Police Commander, said the flip-flops were part of a wider campaign to make the area safer at night.

These included extra officers on duty at night in the harbour area and safer-sex advice, as well as the "mop cops".

He said: "I would be surprised if the cost of the flip-flops was more than 200.

"This is part of a forward-thinking, innovative partnership to make it a safer place to be."

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