Revellers are being encouraged to stay safe while they celebrate the Christmas party season.
Police in North Tyneside have issued a reminder to festive party-goers to take care and stay safe this Christmas while out at pubs and bars in towns and villages.
Over the next few weeks, groups of friends, families and work colleagues will be going out enjoy parties in pubs, clubs and restaurants.
There will be extra officers patrolling across the busy weekends to make sure revellers stay safe and officers are keen to get the message across that people should plan in advance to ensure their night is a safe one.
Chief Inspector Steve Readdie said: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time in our region this Christmas and that means if you’re drinking on a night out then you need to make sure you plan in advance how to get home safely.
“It’s good advice for people to pre-book a taxi to make sure they know how they are getting home.
“Everyone also needs to look out for their friends and stick together, don’t let people in your group wander off on their own, especially if they’re a bit worse for wear.
“But if you do get separated from your friends arrange a safe meeting place everyone can find.
“We advise people to store an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in their phone and keep some cash in an alternative place, in case you lose your purse or wallet and need some in an emergency.
“We want everyone going out to have an enjoyable time and to get home safely afterwards, look after yourself and your friends and stay safe this Christmas.”
Officers are especially keen for people to make sure they have their plans to get home safely in place before beginning their night out.
Ch Insp Readdie added: “The best way is either to pre-arrange a lift with a friend or family member, or to book a licensed taxi.
“What we don’t want is people getting into unlicensed taxis, people who do taxi runs in their own cars, who are unlicensed and who could be anyone.
“Always book your taxi through a licensed reputable company, don’t just get into cars that look like taxis or accept lifts from strangers in any circumstances, if possible use an authorised taxi rank.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Vera Baird QC, said: “There’s always a great atmosphere across the region as people come together to enjoy the lead up to Christmas but it’s very important to me that everyone feels safe.
“Throughout Northumbria we have introduced excellent measures through strong partnerships with the local authority, police, businesses and my office but the public should heed the advice of our officers.
“If you are enjoying a night out in our rural towns and villages then it is even more important that you plan ahead and make sure you know how you’re getting home. Take care and stay safe this Christmas.”