Nights out with friends, family and colleagues form a big part of most people’s Christmas and New Year celebrations, but others can spoil your fun by behaving inappropriately or illegally.
Below are some tips to help keep you and your party safe, ensuring you all have a good night without making yourselves vulnerable.
Before you leave
- Charge your phone fully and have a trusted taxi number in your contacts list in case of emergencies. Put your phone somewhere safe, along with your keys, money/cards, ID and other valuables. Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket where it’s easy to pinch or lose
- If you or one of your group is concerned someone may turn up and cause trouble, don’t share your plans with anyone beforehand. Don’t post, or allow your friends to post, anything on social media that identifies your location (or advertises that your house is empty) until after the event
- Bars and clubs can become busy, so getting split up from your friends is easily done. Set up a group chat in case one of you gets separated from the others
- Plan how you are going to get to your venue and home again:
- If you need to be driven, pre-book your journeys beforehand with a licensed cab or arrange lifts with someone you trust. Keep enough cash back to make sure you can get home and try to travel together
- Avoid walking anywhere alone if you can but, if you must do it, don’t take short cuts. It’s better to go a longer route which is well lit and has CCTV than walk down dark allies, through parks etc. Walk purposefully and phone someone if you can, but don’t let your call distract you from your surroundings. Strut safe is a phone line run by volunteers where you can talk to someone until you’re safely through your door
- Decide on a codeword for emergencies so you can all leave immediately but discreetly if a situation arises
- Make sure you have plenty to eat before you go out or plan a meal early into your night so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach
When you’re out
- Try to stick together as a group. If you’re nipping to the loo or the bar tell someone and, ideally, go in a pair. Put a message in the group chat if one of you hasn’t been seen for a while. You can drop a pin or use what 3 words to locate each other if needed
- Know your limits, and don’t let anyone pressure you into taking drugs or drinking too much. Pace yourself and have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. If someone insists on getting a round in, ask for a soft drink if you don’t want any more alcohol. Remember, you’re more vulnerable if you’re under the influence
- If you or one of your group has drunk too much, go outside somewhere safe for some fresh air and have a drink of water
- Be aware of who is around you. Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know (especially if you haven’t seen it being prepared at the bar) and don’t leave your bag or drink unattended. If you suspect someone is spiking drinks, tell a member of staff. The police will need to be informed and someone may require medical assistance. Don’t invite strangers to your home or into a taxi
Here are some useful contacts if you need help over the Christmas and New Year period:
- Samaritans – Freephone 116 123. Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – Freephone, 24-hour, 0808 2000 247
- Mind – mental health helpline 0300 123 3393. Available Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. Closed on 25 and 26 December 2023, and 1 January 2024
The AGR Law team can support you with family law and commercial and personal services, including Wills, Power of Attorney and more. If you have any queries, contact us at email@example.com or call 0116 340 0094.
We’re closed from 4pm on Friday 22 December 2023 to 9.30am on Tuesday 02 January 2024.