As well as planning for an enjoyable Christmas and New Year it’s also important to keep your personal safety in mind. Here are our tips to help make sure you have a safe as well as fun Christmas.
- Keep your purse or wallet close to your body where you can feel it.
- When you take your shopping to your car put it out of sight.
- Shield your PIN number at the cash point or register and put money away quickly and securely.
- Plan your journey home in advance, tell people where you are going and look out for your friends.
- Have the number for a reputable taxi company in the area saved on your phone and book in advance. Cabwise – text HOME to 60835 for a list of licenced cab numbers.
- Make sure your mobile is charged and has credit before you go out.
- Keep your bags, coats and phone with you at all times, and if someone tries to grab your stuff let it go.
- Drink sensibly and avoid drugs – alcohol and drugs dull your instincts and awareness of danger.
- If you can, arrange to travel home with friends. If this isn’t possible, make sure you text or phone a friend when you get home.
- Book a party somewhere that serves meals or snacks, or make sure you eat before you go out.
- Try pacing and spacing. Having a soft drink or some water between alcoholic drinks slows the rate of your drinking.
- Stick to safer drinking levels. For women, the guidelines are no more than two to three units a day. For men, it’s three to four units a day.
- Keep a check on how much you are drinking. The NHS Change4Life tracker will help you keep track of how much you are drinking and spending.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires and heaters.
- Unplug fairy lights before you go to bed or go out.
- Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard.
- Secure your windows; leave a light on and lock your front door, even if you are inside.
- Do not leave boxes outside your home that advertise your new presents.
If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault, you don’t have to cope with it alone. Please contact the Haven Centre Camberwell for advice on 020 3299 1599 or text ‘Havens’ to 64118 for details of other centres. Visit www.thehavens.co.uk
The police can be contacted on 0300 123 1212 or in an emergency always dial 999.