Don't become a victim this Christmas

Date 20/12/2016

Don’t become a victim this Christmas

Christmas and New Year are a time for celebrating, spending time with family and friends, relaxing and reflecting on another year gone by.

Sadly, at this time of year, people are more likely to suffer an accident or become a victim of crime. So, if you do decide to let your hair down over the festive period, the Gwynedd and Anglesey Community Safety Partnership is urging you to keep your guard up!

The Community Safety partnership includes Councils, Police, Health Board, Fire Service, Probation and others; all working together to tackle crime and disorder. Here the Gwynedd Partnership offers advice about how to keep safe this Christmas.

 Don’t drink/drug drive
A lot of people enjoy a drink over the festive period. When drinking with family, friends or colleagues you have a responsibility to look after yourself and others, and to know your limits.

If you’re having a drink make arrangements to get home safely - use public transport; get a lift or book a taxi. Remember that you could still be over the safe limit the morning after.

 Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or certain prescribed drugs is dangerous, and is against the law. If you are convicted of any of these offences, you will have a criminal conviction, and a record of the offence on your driving licence for a number of years, as well as the likelihood of receiving a hefty fine. A serious incident involving driving under the influence of drink or drugs can result in a prison sentence.

 Don’t put yourself in a risky situation or do things you wouldn’t normally do. On a night out neveraccept a drink from a stranger, make sure you and your friends have made arrangements to get home; always use a pre-booked taxi from a reputable firm. Avoid confrontation at all costs, and walk away from trouble. Know your limits, drink soft drinks in-between alcoholic ones.

Never accept a lift with a stranger or someone you don’t know very well even if you are wet, tired or it’s late, avoid danger spots like quiet or badly lit alleyways or isolated car parks. Do notforget to take your mobile phone with you. Remember to take it fully charged and with enough credit.

Wheneverpossible, walk with a friend or stay near a group of people, alwaystake the route you know best and stick to well lit, busy streets.

Safety at home

Home security is important, especially around Christmas time as there are a lot of valuables in the house.Remember to keep doors and windows locked at all times, leaving present under the Christmas tree in public view can attract the attention of thieves. Remember to keep them out of sight until Christmas Day.

If you are storing larger items such as bikes in the garden shed, ensure the door is locked, make a note of the frame numbers of new cycles and the serial numbers of new electrical equipment for future reference. Also, mark valuables with your house number and postcode

Leave a light on a timer if you’re going away for Christmas or if you’re out for the evening. Leaving empty boxes outside advertises the fact that you have new goods inside - dispose of packaging carefully.

 Remember not to advertise on social media that your house is going to be empty over the festive period.

Shopping

If you are going shopping during the Christmas period, don’t leave handbags on unattended trolleys or pushchairs, weara bag which has straps across your body and ensure the zip is closed. Keep purses or wallets close to your person and don’t carry too much cash. Be aware of who is around you at cash points and keep cheque books, cards, PIN numbers separately.

It’s also important that you remember to protect your vehicle. Never leave anything on display inside your vehicle, lock them away in the boot, keep all windows and doors locked.

Park in a garage if you’ve got one at home and when out and about, park in a well-lit open area.

Don’t hide behind closed doors

Christmas and New Year should be a time of peace and goodwill. Sadly, for too many families, this ideal will be shattered by domestic violence.

Increased levels of stress, often fuelled by alcohol, can boil over into domestic abuse. Help and support is available to victims. Contact the free and confidential Wales ‘Live fear Free’ Helpline any hour of the day or night on 0808 80 10 800.

Fire safety

Inevitably, there are more fire hazards around the home at Christmas time. Paper decorations, candles, new electrical toys and gadgets, a party atmosphere – all these factors can heighten the risk but don’t let a happy occasion turn into tragedy this year.

Never leave cooking unattended or cook after consuming alcohol. Do not overload electrical sockets and never leave burning candles unattended or placed near fire hazards. Never leave burning candles unattended or placed near fire hazards and never attach decorations to lights and heaters. Make sure Christmas lights and electrical goods carry the British Safety Standard mark. Remember that smoke alarms save lives.

 Remember that you can arrange for the Fire Service to carry out a free home safety check. Contact them on 0800 169 1234.

The Gwynedd & Anglesey Community Safety Partnership would like to wish you all a happy and safe festive holiday.