Think smart and stay safe

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West Lothian Community Safety Unit (CSU) is urging local people to take care of themselves during the party season.

The unit brings together partners with a diverse business remit from Police Scotland, NHS, West Lothian Council and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Members include experts from a range of fields including: fire prevention, crime prevention, road safety, anti-social behaviour, drugs awareness and community engagement.

With the party season in full swing it is worth taking a few minutes to plan how you are getting home; for example you could nominate a driver, pre-arrange a pick up or pre-book a taxi.

Do not get in a car if you don’t know the occupants, and, if you are flagging down a taxi, make sure it is licensed.

If you’re using public transport, check the timetable before you leave.

If at all possible, travel to your destination with friends, stay with them during your night out and go home with them, swap mobile telephone numbers.

If you are walking, use well lit populated routes and tell someone of your route and the time that you are expected home.

Be aware of surroundings and people, and try to avoid conflict and being provoked into situations which may put you in danger.

Executive councillor for services for the community George Paul said: “We hope that everyone has a great time when they are out over the festive period.

“We also want everyone to stay safe. Having a feeling of being safe in your home and going about your business has a significant impact on the wellbeing of all residents.

“In West Lothian we achieve this through the partnership work of the West Lothian Community Safety Unit (CSU).

“Together we aim to help people feel safe in their homes and on the streets of West Lothian.”

Manager of West Lothian CSU, Sergeant John Jackson said: “We would like everyone to have a safe enjoyable time when they are out and about.

“Plan to take a few simple measures to make sure that you and your friends are safe.

“More information about personal safety is available online:

Look out for updates on Twitter (@westlothpolice) and Facebook (West Lothian Police).”

To report incidents call Police Scotland on 101 or 999.