Campaign aims to make sure you stay safe over the festive season

Make sure you stay safe this festive season - that’s the message from Police Scotland and East Dunbartonshire Council.

Their joint festive safety campaign aims to keep people safe while they are shopping, online or out at parties.

Police officers handed out ‘jingle bells’ which can be attached to handbags, purses and wallets to deter criminals at the recent launch of the initiative at Strathkelvin Retail Park, in Bishopbriggs.

And this week they have issued advice to people who will be socialising in the run up to Christmas.

Sergeant Catriona McConchie, from Kirkintilloch Police Office, said: “The key is to plan ahead, charge your mobile phone and remember to take it with you, especially if you plan to use it to phone a cab or get picked up by someone to get home.

“It’s a good idea to pre-book your taxi as they are in demand at this time of year, and make sure you have enough money left over to pay for it.

“Avoid walking alone, but if you have to make sure that you don’t use isolated short cuts. Stick to busy and well lit areas.”

Other advice includes never leaving your drinks unattended when you are in a pub in case they get spiked with a drug, and be sensible and pace yourself throughout the night because a drunk person is an easy target for criminals.

Sergeant McConchie added: “You become vulnerable when you are drunk.

“Also, don’t be tempted to take drugs or New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), sometimes mistakenly called ‘legal highs’. They are not safe and contain toxic and harmful chemicals.

“Always stick with your friends and never leave a night out on your own or with strangers.

“Look after your friends and make sure you all get home safely.”

Constable Adam Irvine said: “We have listened to what our communities are telling us and addressing their concerns head on.

“We will continue to target those involved in criminality or anti-social behaviour.”