GUEST COLUMN: Take responsibility for the amount you drink this Christmas, says Crime Commissioner Alan Charles

Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire Alan Charles
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire Alan Charles

I’m no party pooper. Just like everyone else, I like to have fun and enjoy the Christmas festivities with friends and family.

But the message I want everyone to take on board is: finish your night as you started it.

Whatever you do this Christmas, make sure it’s enjoyable and safe. Take responsibility for yourselves, your families, your friends and your property.

Whether out on the town or visiting friends, the number one safety message is to limit what you drink – because drinking to excess inhibits logical thinking. It pushes people into making choices they would never consider when sober.

Your choices and decisions can mean the difference between life and death. It can mean ending up with a criminal record. It can mean losing your job.

The simple solution is to drink within your limits. That doesn’t mean until you can no longer stand; it means finishing the night as you started it. In full control of your faculties.

My Safe Night Out campaign highlights the dangers of overstepping the limit when drinking alcohol.

It underlines the need to plan a night out in advance. That means thinking about and planning ahead for how you are going to get home.

It means making sure you have a designated driver who won’t be drinking alcohol.

It means sticking together with your friends so that you all look out for each other and stay safe.

It’s sad but true that when you become incapacitated through drink your chances of falling victim to crime increase significantly.

Knowing when to stop drinking will reduce your vulnerability and help ensure that you go home happy with great memories of a safe night out.

Going home safely is a crucial part of your night out. That’s why, as part of my campaign, I am backing the University of Derby Student Union’s Safe Taxi Scheme which enables students who run out of cash on a night out to obtain a lift home from a registered taxi driver by temporarily surrendering their student identification and paying at a later date.

We all need to be extra vigilant with regard to keeping our property safe.

Let’s keep our home secure, remove shopping from the car, put valuables and gifts out of sight. Let’s not make a criminal’s day this Christmas.