Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Stag party resort's police help

Riga skyline
Riga has become a popular destination for stag and hen parties

A police force is sending two officers to Latvia to advise on how to deal with hen and stag parties from Britain.

A chief inspector and a sergeant based in Cardiff are to visit Riga to pass on their expertise in dealing with what police call "the night-time economy".

South Wales Police has been recognised by the Home Office for its practice in policing Cardiff city centre at night.

Some 15 British forces have sent officers to the city to learn how it deals with alcohol-related crime.

Chief Inspector Steve Murray and Licensing Sergeant Trevor Jones have been asked to visit the Latvia's capital.

The invitation comes as Riga becomes increasing popular with British hen and stag parties, according to South Wales Police.

Ch Insp 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 their night-time economy and also policing the capital city.

'Incidents'

"We have been invited over for a couple of days in a consultancy capacity to demonstrate how we deal with out night-time economy as we have been recognised by the Home Office for best practice."

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

A Foreign Office and Commonwealth spokeswoman said the British Embassy in Riga is working on a project to bring together police officers from Latvia and south Wales to compare approaches to policing city centre areas.

"The aim of the project is to share best practise and look at practical ways to make city centres safe and pleasant places for all visitors," said the spokeswoman.

She added that around 85,000 British tourists visit Latvia every year.

"Though there have a small number of well publicised incidents involving British tourists, the vast majority of visits are trouble free. Visitors are advised to check the FCO's travel advice before they visit."

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