‘Don’t make your Christmas presents a gift for someone else’

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In the run-up to Christmas, police in Limavady are stepping up patrols in a bid to make the festive season safe for everyone and among their targets are drink drivers.

“It blows my mind how many people still think it’s okay to get in a car with drink in them,” Area Commander Sam Donaldson told the ‘Journal’.

“What people should remember as well is there are a lot of functions at night. They go out and have drinks and get in a taxi, or get a lift home, but they get in a car the next day and are likely still twice the legal limit. My advice is, do not drink and drive but, secondly, think of the ancillary side of things - ‘I am driving to work the next day so what should do I?’ Have a plan, because if you knock a child down going to school the next day that is life changing, not only for that family but for you too. People don’t think about that. They think they’re immune, that it won’t happen to them. It’s frightening.”

Mr. Donaldson also urged householders to make sure their premises are secure.

“The last thing I want is for someone to be a victim of burglary coming up to Christmas,” he said.

“It’s absolutely terrible, so don’t make your Christmas presents a gift for somebody else. The classic message; whether they’re in your car or in your house - don’t leave things lying about; lock them away.”

Operation Seasons Greetings will also focus on anti social behaviour “and we will have extra officers on the streets”.

“Parents need to think about what their kids are doing too,” he said, urging people to spare a thought for people vulnerable at Christmas.

“Coming up to Christmas is usually a time when we are happy, but there are people who are alone or vulnerable and have no plans for Christmas so, if you know someone like that - who is alone - call around to the house or give them a call, or call a group like ‘Be Safe Be Well’ or speak to your local neighbourhood officer. The key message is ‘be their eyes and ears’ and do something about it. I think we underestimate that can have on people’s lives.”