As ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’, Greater Glasgow Police Division is today launching its festive safety campaign encouraging people to keep themselves, each other and their belongings safe.
Officers, working closely with a number of partners including Trading Standards, Scottish Fire & Rescue, BTP, Glasgow Street Pastors, Glasgow Taxis, Glasgow City Mission and Securi Group, will be in the city to ensure those living, working and socialising in the city do so safely.
Additional officers will patrol the area cracking down on criminal behaviour supported by colleagues from Community Safety Glasgow and Glasgow City Council with regard to the monitoring of CCTV and the marshalling of the city’s Nite Zones.
Chief Inspector Audrey Hand, local area commander for the city centre, said:
“Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for police and our partners. It’s a great time for people to shop and socialise in the city but unfortunately, some will use it to prey on vulnerable people or those caught up in the festive experience.
“We want to ensure the city centre is a safe place to be and would encourage people to look after themselves, their friends and their belongings by taking a few simple precautions. For example, if you’re out shopping, keep your purse or wallet out of sight; somewhere difficult for the opportunist thief to get at. Be vigilant at cash machines and remember to put all your presents in the boot of your car and not on display for thieves to see. Once you get the presents home, keep the house secure – again with presents out of view and put your alarm on if you have one.
“If you’re coming into the city for parties or to meet friends for drinks, stay with your pals, charge your phone and make sure you know how you are getting home; plan ahead. Book your taxi in advance or get a friend to pick you up. Don’t leave with someone you’ve just met and don’t really know.
“If you’re having a drink or two, be sensible - don’t get so drunk that you leave yourself vulnerable.
“For drivers, the message is: be aware of changing weather and road conditions and adapt your driving accordingly. Remember, there is no safe limit for drink driving so don’t do it.
“We are all working together to ensure a safe festive period for everyone and I am very grateful for the support we have had from partners this year; it’s a great example of the public, private and voluntary sectors working together to ensure the city centre is a safe place to be."
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Local Senior Officer for the City of Glasgow, Jim Hymas said: “The fact is that for many years cooking has been the number one cause of house fires in Scotland.
“Weekends are often a peak time for cooking fires, especially where someone is cooking under the influence of alcohol.
“Very often it is when people are tired, or under the influence of alcohol, that a cooking fire results in someone being injured or killed. Our message is if you’re feeling hungry after a night out don’t cook, consider buying pre-cooked food or prepare a cold snack instead. The risk of falling asleep is too high and too often we see the tragic results of someone falling asleep with the cooker on.”
“Making sure your home has working smoke alarms is vital. They will alert you as soon as a fire starts giving you a vital early warning which could save your life. Cooking fires can happen to anyone but older people are particularly at risk.
"Our firefighters will visit your home to identify any hazards. They will also assist in developing an escape plan as well as supply and install smoke detectors for free.
"We are here to help everyone stay safe within the home but we are particularly keen to support the most vulnerable and elderly within our communities.
"That is why we appeal to everyone to check if their elderly relatives, friends or neighbours are in need of this vital support - and to contact us directly."
Throughout the campaign, advice for Christmas shoppers and useful home safety, road safety and winter safety tips will be available on the Police Scotland website. You can also follow @GreaterGlasgPol on Twitter using the hashtag #KeepXmasSafe or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreaterGlasgowPoliceDivision.
To register for a Home Fire Safety Visit call the SFRS freephone number: 0800 0731 999, text ‘FIRE’ to 80800, or visit the website at www.firescotland.gov.uk
Anyone who has concerns about their personal safety, or information about any criminal activity, is asked to call Police Scotland on 101; in an emergency always call 999. Alternatively people can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.