The festive season is all about having fun – but it’s important to stay safe if you are out celebrating Hogmanay.
If you happen to be enjoying the celebrations at one of Renfrewshire’s pubs or clubs, be sure to plan your night out before you go, stay near your friends and don’t leave drinks or valuables unattended.
Keeping safe and secure when making your way home from a night out is also vital and party-goers have been urged by Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland to only use officially licensed taxis or private hire vehicles when making the journey home.
All licensed and private hire vehicles have Renfrewshire Council plates displaying the licence details and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the taxi.
Pre-booking your hire at the beginning and end of nights out can also save a lot of hassle and will help you beat busy queues.
Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “While it’s important to have a good time when at a night out or party to celebrate Hogmanay, looking after yourself and your friends is just as vital.
“This is a particularly busy time of year for people enjoying nights out in our town centres – and while this is good news for local pubs and clubs, it does place extra pressure on authorities to keep everyone safe.
“Getting home safely is also important. That is why we are also encouraging people to use officially licensed taxis or private hire cars at the end of your night out.”
Police Scotland and Road Safety Scotland have also urged drivers to be aware of their alcohol consumption and not to take risks on the drink drive limit during the festive season.
And if you are choosing to walk home, be sure to keep to built-up areas and never take isolated shortcuts.
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Sergeant Jeff Curran of Police Scotland said: “Keeping safe is important when out celebrating over the festive season. I would encourage people to plan your night out, stay with your friends and avoid leaving nights out with strangers.
“Planning how to get home is also vital. Pre-booking your hire and using only licensed taxis or private hire vehicles are just a few easy to remember tips to make sure you enjoy your night out.”
The Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership is also helping to provide a safe environment for revellers during the festive period with the Renfrewshire Safe Bus.
Supported by the Alcohol and Drugs Partnership, Red Cross, Street Pastors and Police Scotland, the Safe Bus will be located in New Street on Hogmanay to help those requiring assistance.
The facility is equipped with bottled water, phone charging facilities, medics and officer support – as well as offering a safe space for partygoers if needed.
Councillor Williams added: “Having facilities like the Safe Bus to help those requiring assistance makes it easier for people to stay safe and enjoy their evening.
“We are doing all we can to keep things safe for everyone on Hogmanay and, while most people will enjoy themselves without the need for any help, there is assurance that assistance will be on hand if they need it.”
For more guidance, readers are invited to visit http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/festive-safety/ for general advice on personal safety.