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Revellers encouraged to ‘stay safe’ this Christmas

1 December 2008

Revellers encouraged to ‘stay safe’ this Christmas

Wellington City Council, the Police and ACC have launched their joint ‘Safe in the City’ campaign – urging young revellers not to put themselves at risk over the festive season. The campaign is specifically focussed on young women, asking them to use their common sense and be aware of their personal safety, particularly if they’ve had a few drinks.

The campaign will involve advertising on billboards, buses, trains and local radio stations. Information packs are being sent to bar owners and large organisations across the city. Young people who are members of the ‘HooHaa’ text messaging service will be sent safety messages by text to their mobile phone. There will also be increased Police and Walkwise patrols in the central city over the Christmas period.

The Council’s Social Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ngaire Best, says that Wellington is a safe city on the whole – but over the Christmas period more people come into the CBD for a night out, and increased alcohol consumption can make the city centre a riskier place, especially for young women. Cr Best has some useful advice for anyone heading out on the town.

“Get into the habit of planning how you’ll get home before you head out. Remember to put aside the cash you’ll need to get a bus or taxi home. It’s also good to stick with your friends and look out for anyone who may be a little too intoxicated – make sure they get home safely. Try and eat something while you’re drinking - food helps your body absorb alcohol at a steadier pace and can soften any hangover the next morning. If you see someone in trouble on the streets, phone 111 and let the Police know.

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“Although we’re focusing on people being safe in town, don’t forget to serve alcohol responsibly if you’re having a party – and offer low or non-alcohol alternatives. Make sure your friends get home safely and never ever let a friend drive under the influence of alcohol – call them a taxi instead.”

Cr Best also advises revellers to take note of when the last trains leave town - at 11pm on weekdays and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays for the Hutt, Paraparaumu and Johnsonville lines Night bus services depart from Courtenay Place and Cuba Street to a range of destinations across the city and region Taxis are also available at any time of night.

The Council’s 24-hour liquor control bylaw is now in force throughout the central city, Oriental Bay and Aro Valley – meaning that unless you are a customer of a café or bar with outdoor seating, it is forbidden to drink in public in these areas at any time of day or night.


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