School’s out, the lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us, and all over Scotland, people are unwinding in the sunshine (between intermittent periods of breaking out the anoraks and wellies). Lawnmowers and BBQs are being fired up, youths are enjoying the weeks of freedom between terms, and parents are trying to keep the wee ones entertained.
We want you to have a great, and most importantly safe summer, so here are a few tips to help you make the most of it.
Carrying weapons in any public place, including at summer festivals is an offence and anyone found in possession of an offensive weapon could face arrest. Knife crime can affect anyone and innocent bystanders can get caught in the middle of other people’s disputes and suffer trauma, serious injuries or worse.
Overindulgence in alcohol can impact on your behaviour, your mind and your self-control. Drinking too much can make you vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime as well as getting involved in altercations which can ruin two lives. Know your alcohol limits, alcohol will make you more vulnerable to theft, assault and sexual assaults. Drink plenty of water and stay with friends, never leave a drink unattended and don’t mix alcohol with illegal substances. You should also be aware of local drinking byelaws which can differ by local authority. If in force, it makes it an offence to drink alcohol or have an open container of alcohol in a public place or within a designated area.
Stay with friends, let them know where you are at all times, arrange meeting points and keep your phones fully charged, and stick to busy areas of the arena and campsite – don’t be drawn to secluded spots. Make sure you and your friends have return journeys planned, and do not accept a lift from anyone purporting to be a taxi driver if they do not have the correct license in place. Consider pre booking your journey in advance, and remember to keep your personal belongings (mobile phones/bankcards/keys etc.) safe at all times.
Do not accept drinks from persons unknown to you, and do not take drugs. Also, stay alert – people under the influence of intoxicating substances are far easier targets for criminals. If you or any of your friends become unwell obtain help immediately from stewards or police.
Don’t engage in any sexual activity with anyone who does not or is unable to give their consent due to being under the influence of drink or drugs. In Scots Law, this is rape.
Secure Your Home
Many thieves are actually opportunists who do not have to break in at all because a door or window has been left open or unlocked, so keep your home securely locked at all times. Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them, and don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same key ring. Don’t leave valuables in sight of windows, and if you have a wall calendar, avoid mounting it near a window from where appointments can potentially be seen – this may give an indication of when a property will be empty.
Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must then disperse it in various locations. It’s also a good idea to security mark your property with a UV marker pen, which you can use to place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on your possessions. Record details of your valuables, such as mobile phone, cameras, laptops and tablets on the national mobile property register at Immobilise.com.
Staying Safe Outdoors
Everyone wants to see our countryside and enjoy our waterways and coastline, however, any area of water, including reservoirs and canals, can hold hidden dangers. Scotland has more than 37,000 separate stretches of inland water and over 11,500 miles of coastline when including both mainland and island coast. With many stretches located in remote areas, help will often be some considerable time away, so take responsibility for your own actions and make sensible decisions to stay safe around waterways. The best advice is to be aware of the dangers, think about the risks and plan to minimise them. You can find out more about inland water safety from our partners Scottish Wat