NEW Year revellers are being urged to stay safe while celebrating in Sunderland tonight.
Northumbria Police is running its force-wide campaigns Keys, Money, Phone, Plans to get Home and Stay in Control of Your Night to encourage people to think about their safety on a night out, to know their boozing limits and stay out of trouble.
In the run-up to tonight’s celebrations, officers have been working with bars, clubs and door staff and handing out safety advice to hotels in the city.
Officers have been dishing out safety cards to drinkers during the festive season.
And police say these safety messages are worth paying extra attention to tonight, when the city centre is expected to be bustling for New Year’s Eve.
Advice includes having a plan to get home; sticking together with friends; arranging a safe meeting place and stashing some cash in case they lose their purse or wallet.
Superintendent Derek Scott, of Sunderland Area Command, said: “New Year is extremely busy and it’s important people take heed of the safety advice by sticking together, knowing their limits and planning in advance how they will be getting home.
“While Sunderland is a safe city and people will be in good spirits celebrating the New Year, we’d urge people to drink sensibly to ensure they stay in control.
“Situations can quickly escalate when people have had too much to drink and they risk either getting themselves into trouble by causing disorder, or they make themselves vulnerable to being the victim of a crime.
“This campaign is aimed at making sure people enjoy themselves without going too far and ruining their night out for themselves and for others, ensuring they start the New Year on the right foot.”
Tonight is expected to be a busy one for all emergency services on Wearside.
On December 31, 2011, the North East Ambulance Service took 2,020 calls and on January 1, 2012, they received 2,812 calls – their normal daily average is in the region of 750.
And in 2010 police and community support officers dealt with more 480 calls in 24 hours.
A total of 85 arrests were made – 44 for public order offences or being drunk and disorderly – between 7am on New Year’s Eve and 7am the following day.
In total, front-line officers responded to 488 incidents reported in the 24-hour period.
For more information about personal safety, visit the Northumbria Police website at www.northumbria.police.uk