Be merry and safe: police issue warnings ahead of Christmas festivities

The Bricklayer’s Arms pub in Shoreditch, Hackney.
The vibrant and busy Bricklayer’s Arms pub in Shoreditch, Hackney. Pic: Terence Chisholm

Police have issued a warning to Christmas merrymakers reminding them to drink responsibly to avoid ‘regrets’ this festive period.

A Christmas caution has been issued by the Metropolitan Police in tandem with the Eat, Pace, Plan campaign of the Mayor of London and the City of London. If you are out and about in the ELL boroughs over the next week keep in mind the advice; to make sure they eat before a night out, that they keep an eye on their drinks, and always have a safe route home.

Shoreditch and Brick lane are two of the biggest party hot-spots across the whole of London, with thousands and thousands flocking to the area every weekend from all over the capital. The numbers will spike over the Christmas period.

Detective Chief Superintendent Helen Lyons, the Met’s Safeguarding lead, said: “We want everyone to be safe and have a happy time this Christmas in our beautiful and vibrant city.

“Drinking alcohol will affect your judgement and decision making, so please think about your safety when you are out enjoying the festive season. If your plans change then tell someone, or if you feel uneasy about your safety or that of another, try to get to a safe space, where you can get help, including that of the police.

“We just want you to have a great time and ensure you get home safely.”

According to the most recent revisions from the Department of Health and the Home Office alcohol costs the NHS £3.5bn a year and leads to 337,000 hospital admissions in England. These numbers are only set to increase with the Christmas merriment and pulling valuable resources away from those who need it the most.

Pic: Met Police

Chief Operating Officer Khadir Meer, from the London Ambulance Service, said: “We have a simple message for Londoners: have a great time, but take care and look out for one another.

“Every ambulance responding to someone who has drunk too much is an ambulance that becomes unavailable for someone else who may be seriously injured.”

As many as 70% of people who turns up at A&E on Friday and Saturday night can be suffering from the effects of alcohol, while drink is estimated to cause 12% to 15% of all A&E attendances. In preparation for the running weekends before Christmas.

Last Christmas saw a £300,000 initiative introduced to ease strain on the NHS. Drunk tanks were implemented to stop A&E units and ambulance crews being overwhelmed by intoxicated people over the festive season.

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