Enjoy the celebrations but stay safe this festive season

As Christmas approaches many of us will be looking forward to parties and celebrations with friends, family and work colleagues to mark the festive season.

Buckinghamshire Council wants people to enjoy the festivities but is reminding partygoers to remember some simple but sensible ways to stay safe.

The council’s community safety team works closely with Thames Valley Police and local bars, pubs and clubs to promote safety messaging to their staff so they know what to do if they see someone in distress or notice anything suspicious.

Many late-night entertainment venues take part in the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative. If a customer feels unsafe in one of the participating venues, they can go to a member of staff and ask to speak to ‘Angela’. This will alert the staff to the situation, and they will take steps to ensure the person is helped as needed. View more information on the Ask for Angela initiative and the local participating venues.

When drinking in a bar or club, people are reminded to keep their drink close and never leave it unattended. If you need to go somewhere, leave your drink with a friend, or take it with you. Equally, be wary of accepting a drink from someone you don’t know. Although rare, drink spiking can occur anywhere, so it pays to be vigilant.

When it’s time to go home make sure you stay safe by only getting into a licensed taxi or plan your journey on public transport. The Get Your Coat mobile app is a handy, free tool that can be programmed to send reminders of last bus and train times, send instant location messages to your contacts or make a one touch call to a saved number.

Remember, don’t be tempted to drive home if you’ve had more than the legal limit of alcohol. You are not only putting your own life at risk but also those around you. If caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you risk losing your licence which can have far reaching implications. Don’t forget, you can still be over the limit the following day, if you have consumed a lot of alcohol the night before.

Finally, with social engagements increasing during December, it is easy to find yourself drinking more alcohol than usual which can have a negative impact on your health. Remember to always drink within your limits and consider cutting back or having some alcohol-free days during the festivities. Be Healthy Bucks has lots of information and further advice.

Arif Hussain, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “Everyone enjoys the festivities at this time of year and we want people to make the most of opportunities to get together with friends and family. We’re not trying to worry people but just give a gentle reminder that it pays to take a few simple precautions to ensure that you stay safe. We wish everyone a very happy Christmas and enjoyable festive season.”

View more information on staying safe this party season.