Stay safe and party

POLICE and fire and rescue services have joined forces this Christmas to promote a festive safety campaign.

Leaflets, posters and television adverts have been running throughout December, reminding residents to play it safe during the party season.

The information includes messages of fire safety, as well as advice on drinking alcohol and heading for nights out during the winter weather.

As detailed in last week’s Extra, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) has been campaigning on the subject of drink and drug driving, and the increased penalties which perpetrators face.

But the wider message is to take care with alcohol whether driving or not – as reinforced by a spokesman for the NHS.

Speaking at the campaign launch, liaison officer Pete Gilfedder commented: “We want people to enjoy the festive period but we also want them to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.

“We have to face up to the harm that alcohol is inflicting on us, and providing a co-ordinated approach in partnership with our emergency colleagues will ensure we promote safe and sensible drinking”.

Superintendent Grant Manders, head of safer communities at Strathclyde police, added: “We’re here to keep people safe and while we want everyone to enjoy the festivities and make the most of their holidays, we would also urge everyone to take responsibility for their own safety too.

“It’s easy for personal safety and security to slip to the back of people’s minds when they’re rushing around and having fun.

“However, we’d ask everyone to take the time to log onto our website - as well as our partners’ websites - where they’ll find safety advice and tips on how to keep safe during the festive period. “Alternatively, you can contact officers at your local police office who will be more than happy to help”.

It’s a message echoed by East Renfrewshire council as its health improvement team issues advice on how to make the most of the festivities without overdoing it.

Tips from ERC health officers include eating a hearty meal before drinking, using smaller glasses, pacing yourself by alternating with soft drinks and choosing drinks which are not as strong.

Health guidelines state that men should be drinking no more than three or four units per day, and for women it’s two to three – as well as two alcohol-free days each week.

More information can be found at www.drinkaware.ie. Meanwhile, if you think you have a more serious problem with alcohol, contact your GP who will link you with support services in East Renfrewshire.