As the season to be merry gets into full swing, Erewash Borough Council has urged residents to ensure they don’t let the fun festivities cloud their judgement on safety.

The council’s licensing team and Erewash Community Safety Partnership (ECSP) are urging Christmas and New Year party-goers to use a properly licensed taxi service, catch a bus or appoint a designated driver rather than run the risks of drink driving.

As part of the safety campaign, the council has produced a 64-page Taxi Drivers’ Handbook for Erewash licensed drivers that encourages them to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity.

The council has also urged residents to take basic safety precautions to help keep festive celebrations crime free.

When out and about, keep money and valuables in internal pockets or zipped bags to avoid being easy prey for pickpockets or muggers. When withdrawing cash at a cash machine, shield the keypad when typing in a PIN number and always put money away safely before walking away.

Christmas presents should never be left under the tree if they are visible through windows or doors and when going out ensure everywhere is locked and use a timer switch to operate lamps to make it look like someone is home.

Once the gifts are opened, don’t advertise the expensive new items that are in the house by leaving empty boxes out with the rubbish for days – instead break the boxes down and keep them out of view until a refuse or recycling collection is due.

Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:

“We hope everyone enjoys the celebrations as we lead up to the big day – but let’s ensure we all stay safe throughout the festive period. Make plans on how you will be getting home ahead of party time and, whether out celebrating or shopping, be aware of what is happening around you at all times. The police work hard to keep businesses, residents and visitors safe over the Christmas period, but being alert and taking easy security steps will all help to keep our holiday season crime free.”

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