Tuesday, 15 December 2009 - 9:41am |

On the 9th day of Christmas . . . make your personal safety a priority

2 min read

In the run up to Christmas many people will be planning nights out and parties, but how many will be including personal safety in their plans?

Operations Manager for Central District Police, Inspector David White said: "This isn't about spoiling people's fun, but a few basic precautions could make the difference between a safe Christmas and a Christmas that is memorable for all of the wrong reasons."

If you are going out for the evening:
• Let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back.
• Arrange safe transport to and from your location, whether that is a designated sober driver, taxi, bus or dial-a-driver.
• Never accept a lift from someone you don't know or have just met. Licensed taxis will be clearly marked.
• If a friend has had too much to drink don't just put them into a taxi or leave them, go with them to make sure that they get home safely.

If you aren't taking a taxi home:
• Make sure you walk home with friends and not on your own.
• Keep to well-lit areas.
• Consider purchasing a personal attack alarm to carry with you.
• Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.

If you are driving:
• Don't drink and drive - it's not just the risk of getting caught, a significant number of fatal accidents involve alcohol.
• Make sure you have a designated sober driver and if they don't stay sober make alternative arrangements.
• Never get into a vehicle when you know or suspect that the driver has been drinking.

While you are at your venue:
• Keep all valuables close to you and out of sight; it takes just a second for an opportunist thief to steal a wallet or handbag but can take a lot of time and money to replace bank cards, driving licence, keys and so on. It is advisable to only take with you what you really need for the night.
• Keep a constant eye on your drink. Spiking is rare but it can happen. If you lose sight of your drink, drain the remains away and get a fresh one.
• Never accept a drink handed to you by a stranger.
• Try to drink water or a non-alcoholic drink with every alcoholic one. It will help to keep you alert and will also help to fend off a hangover.
• Stay with your friends and look out for one another. If you move to another venue make sure you don't leave any of your friends behind alone.
• Stay out of trouble - you don't want a criminal record for Christmas.

This advice forms part of the 12 Crime of Christmas campaign by Central District Police who wish you a very merry and safe Christmas and New Year.

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 06 351 2546 or 027 234 8256.