The festive season is here and people are getting ready to enjoy the Christmas spirit while shops, supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and clubs throughout Angus are gearing up for their busiest time of the year.
Police Scotland officers look forward to the celebrations and good-natured high spirits that Christmas and the New Year brings each year. But they are also aware that the season presents possibilities for the criminal and are ever alert to the minority who become involved in alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.
Chief Inspector Gordon Milne, local area commander for the Angus area, said: “The build up to the festive season is traditionally a busy time for the Police and our colleagues in the other emergency services. Our aim is always to encourage people to be safe and to act sensibly whilst enjoying themselves.
“We will be on duty, along with the community wardens and street pastors with the purpose of keeping people safe and encouraging everyone to shop and party safe.
“We do not want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment but we will do everything we can to stop violence, prevent crime, keep the roads safe and preserve order.
“The most common incidents we deal with at this time of year tend to stem from people drinking too much. While drunkenness is a recognised factor in anti-social, violent and criminal behaviour, it is not an excuse. By all means enjoy a drink, but don’t overdo it.
“Equally if you are out with friends, look out for them and don’t become separated from them. In years past, our officers have had to come to the assistance of people who are drunk, disorientated and separated from their friends. In that condition, in winter weather, they can put themselves into very vulnerable positions.”
Police Scotland offers the following tips to Party Safe: Plan ahead for your night out especially how you are to get home; Stay together – look out for friends; Look after your mobile phone and make sure its fully charged before going out; Watch your drinks and how much you drink; Keep bags and valuables with you at all times; Use a licensed taxi, public transport or arrange a lift.
Shopping at this time of year can be hectic and shoppers can often have a hundred and one things on their mind as they endeavour to complete the “must get” present list. Please take care, shop safe and follow straightforward crime prevention and personal safety advice to avoid being a victim of crime.
Police Scotland will have high visibility and enhanced traffic patrols in all the Angus towns and on the roads to deter criminals and respond quickly to any incidents. They will be supported by CCTV systems whose operators can identify and issue alerts concerning any incidents they see.
Chief Inspector Milne said: “Angus is a very safe place, but it is still important that people don’t become overwhelmed by all that they have to do and abandon the common sense they would normally have in keeping themselves and their belongings safe.”
Police Scotland suggests the following to Shop Safe: Look after your bags and valuables; Do not withdraw more money than you need. Use the plastic; Put your money in your wallet/purse/bag before leaving the ATM; Hide your PIN; Don’t leave gifts in cars or in plain sight at home; Close and lock all doors and windows and leave a light on when you go out.
The Chief Inspector added: “The number of people who think they can drink and drive and get away with it still causes me a lot of concern. Despite the festive season, no leniency or discretion will be shown for people who get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. We still see drivers using their vehicles the morning after and still being over the limit. Best advice – don’t do it.”
Posters highlighting Police Scotland’s This Christmas Stay Safe tips feature at 32 train stations throughout Scotland to target shoppers as well as shopping centres and pubs.
Messages will be issued across the Police Scotland social media on Twitter and Facebook. You can follow Police Scotland on Twitter @Police Scotland and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/policescotland
You can also follow Tayside Division on www.facebook.com/taysidepolice or on Twitter @TaysidePolice and @AngusPolice
The latest information can also be found on the Police Scotland website at www.scotland.police.uk