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  • Writer's pictureFarah Benis

Staying Safe on New Year's Eve

2020 has been a year like no other, and New Year's Eve is set to follow suit with festivities looking pretty different from what we would normally expect from the last night of the year. The biggest change is looking to be the cancellation of the famous New Years' Eve fireworks that normally sees 100,000 people flock to the banks of the Thames. This suggests that many large organised events will probably also not be going ahead. While this certainly means that the streets of London will be quieter this year, it may potentially mean more illegal events pop up as well as pushing people out onto the street to celebrate with nowhere to go, opening the opportunity for crime rates to spike.

New Year's Eve is always a high alert period for safety and security. With crowded streets and high alcohol consumption, there is ample opportunity for a variety of crimes as well as a heightened terror threat. While this may be less so this year, it still remains a concern with people undoubtedly venturing out onto the street and drowning their sorrows in the process. Personal attacks like mugging tend to always increase over the Christmas and New Years' period as well as physical attacks both in and outside of the home due to higher consumption of alcohol and drugs. Quieter streets may also encourage more criminal activity with fewer people around to witness a crime and more intoxicated victims out in the open. Drink driving and burglary also tend to spike at this time of year and are therefore things to be vigilant of.

While the safest and most advisable thing to do this year is to just stay in, we understand that a lot of people may still be venturing out. If this is your plan, in order to ensure New Years' Eve safety we recommend taking a few steps to increase the safety of yourself and your friends and family to make sure it is an enjoyable night for all.

  • STAY IN A GROUP. It is always a good idea to stay in a group (matching the government guidelines of course,) wherever possible especially when traveling, as the saying goes, safety in numbers. This makes you less appealing to potential attackers and is just more eyes to stay vigilant.

  • PLAN YOUR JOURNEY HOME. If you are going out drinking, it’s a good idea to have a plan on how you’re going to be getting home. This saves having to do any organisation at the end of the night and makes sure you don’t do anything unsafe. Never drink drive after a night out, and never get into a car with someone who’s intoxicated. It simply isn’t worth the risk, just call a cab.

  • DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH. Many people enjoy a drink especially on a day like NYE, however, a little bit of moderation can be the difference between getting into trouble and not. Know your limits and be sensible, you’ll thank yourself the next day.

  • LOOK OUT FOR THOSE AROUND YOU. As a rule in general when you’re out and about, you should be aware of where your friends are and if they’re ok. Never leave anyone behind and look out for one another, this helps contribute to safer nightlife for all and is good practice whatever the day. If you do see anything suspicious going on, report it to a security guard or if necessary, the police.

  • FOLLOW GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES. As boring as this point may seem, the current restrictions are in place for a reason and that is to keep you safe. We’ve come a long way during this pandemic and it’s not worth throwing away good progress for one night. Make sure your plans for the evening abide by the most current restrictions. If you’re planning to attend an event that doesn’t, it is an illegal one and therefore may also expose you to other safety risks aside from the virus, and isn’t a good idea.

It goes without saying that we are all keen to see out the vicious year that 2020 has been. However, it’s important to welcome in the new one in the safest way possible to not drag this out into 2021. While the temptation is there to throw caution to the wind along with all inhibitions, taking a second to ensure your personal safety, as well as the safety of those around you, could make the difference between a happy new year and the opposite.


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