Will you know when to stop this Christmas?

The Christmas party season is almost upon us and police are encouraging anyone attending festivities to stay in control and know their limits when it comes to alcohol.

Work parties, festive drinks and family celebrations are all part of the Christmas fun but sadly alcohol-related incidents such as domestic abuse, assault, criminal damage, rape and antisocial behaviour increase during the festive period.

Sgt David Vickery, force licensing officer, said: “Everyone wants to have a good time at Christmas and we certainly don’t want to put a stop to that, but we do want to put a stop to the violence and anti social behaviour that can accompany excess drinking.

“We are simply asking people to think about the possible consequences of drinking to excess while they are socialising around the festive period.”

While most people drink responsibly a small minority may spoil an event for everyone else.  Excessive alcohol consumption can result in accidents and violence which don’t just affect the individual, but everyone around them.

Sgt Vickery added: “Alcohol can change people’s behaviour, causing them to take unnecessary risks. We ask that people stay in control and recognise the effects alcohol can have on their judgment and behaviour.”

Particular areas of concern for officers are pre-loading drinks - when people drink cheaper alcohol at home before enjoying a night out.

Sgt Vickery added: “As a consequence of pre-loading people are already up to their limit when they leave the house and can become excessively drunk and unaware of their own actions and their own vulnerability. We want everyone to enjoy the party this festive season but are stressing people should know their limits.”

Police provide the following festive safety advice:

  • Drink responsibly – know when to stop drinking alcohol and drink water regularly during the evening.
  • Always walk away from trouble. Stay in control and prevent one night’s actions leaving you with a criminal record for years to come.
  • Plan how to get home before you go out and pre-book a licensed taxi if required.
  • Look after your friends and stay in a group
  • Avoid pre-loading with alcohol before you leave the house