Police issue festive night-out safety advice

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As part of the build-up to another busy festive season Merseyside Police is issuing advice to ensure everyone can enjoy their nights out safely.

Thousands of visitors and residents are expected to make the most of the many bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants in the run up to Christmas and New Year.

Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring that everyone can enjoy their time safely but is also urging people to take responsibility for themselves by taking simple safety precautions.

Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: “We know that the Christmas and New Year period is one of the busiest times of the year, particularly for people wanting to go out and socialise in many of the city’s bars, clubs and restaurants.

“We want people to come into Merseyside to enjoy themselves and get home safely. Liverpool has a purple flag status which means it is one of the safety cities in the UK and our city centre team has a comprehensive plan to keep the city safe for residents and visitors.

“We will be targeting the minority of people, intent on causing misery over the festive period, whether that’s by stealing people’s belongings or committing violent offences, but we also want people to take responsibility for themselves. Our message to people is – take some simple steps; keep your bag fastened and phones hidden, stay together and drink responsibly.”

“We hope that by taking some simple steps everyone can have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.”

Here are some simple steps people out socialising can take to ensure they stay safe:

• Stay with your friends, stay in a group and look out for each other

• Don’t accept drinks from strangers and don’t leave your drink unattended, even if it’s a soft drink

• Drink sensibly – not only can drinking too much put you in vulnerable situations but it can also lead some people to get involved in situations they would not normally. It is also an offence to purchase alcohol for someone who is drunk and you could get a fine of up to £1,000. Don’t ruin your friends night because you have to go home early due to being refused access to a bar for being too drunk.

• Plan how you’re getting home before you go out. Pre-book your cab and stay with your friends

• If you’re parking in the city or town centres, park with care particularly at night. Park in busy well-lit areas and avoid parking in quiet side roads

• While you’re out and about, keep your purse and phone hidden – keep your handbags close to you, ensure they are fastened securely and kept closed at all times to prevent easy access

• Those carrying wallets are reminded to keep them out of sight and reach, perhaps within an inside jacket pocket

Superintendent Wiggins added: “I would like to reassure the public that there will be an increased police presence in the city and town centres over this busy time and if anyone has any concerns, they can always speak with an officer on the street or alternatively contact 101 or in an emergency always dial 999.”