Enjoying festivities safely

Personal safety charity, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, is reminding people to take care over the festive season and is offering some simple tips on how to reduce the risks of becoming a victim of crime during the holidays.

When parking your car to go shopping, think about what the area will be like if you return after dark and laden down with bags of presents.

If it’s on the street, try and park under a streetlight and away from anywhere that someone could be hidden, such as an alleyway, bushes etc. If parking in a car park, choose a well-lit space as close to the exit as possible, away from pillars and reverse into position.

Avoid leaving lots of newly-bought presents on show in a parked car, as this will only tempt thieves and, for the same reason, keep car doors locked whilst driving if you’ve got bags of shopping or your handbag or wallet on the front seat.

Most of us like a drink or two on a night out but remember that alcohol can seriously affect your judgment and endanger your personal safety.

As always, it’s important that you watch your drinks to ensure that nothing is added to them. Remember that the most common drug used in drug rape is alcohol – it’s very easy to add a double and treble measure instead of single, so only accept drinks from people you know or trust well.

Trust your instincts. If you meet someone at a club or party and you feel uneasy about them, there may well be a good reason for this - so don’t give them personal details about yourself or find yourself alone with them.

When it’s time to go home, you’re likely to be tired and slightly the worse for wear, so if you are travelling home alone you need to take extra care. Before leaving the party, put your keys, travel card, mobile phone and some money in your pocket, so you can give up your handbag or wallet easily if necessary on the way home.

If planning to travel home by taxi or minicab, try to book ahead with a trusted licensed company before leaving the house and ask the price, so you know how much to set aside. For further personal safety advice visit www.suzylamplugh.org/tips