Limerick Gardaí warn partygoers to stay streetwise this Christmas

Garda John Finnerty.

STAYING streetwise is the best way to stay safe this Christmas season. That’s the advice from Limerick Gardaí facing into the festive season as Christmas parties and seasonal cheer reach the top of the agenda for most people.

Christmas is a time for gathering and celebration. From work parties to celebrations with family and friends returning home from abroad, many a glass is raised in the weeks around the big day in December.

This year, Gardaí in Limerick have issued some personal safety advice to help keep the festive season merry and bright.

“Many people are attending office parties on the run up to Christmas and most people will be out socialising over the Christmas period also. Our advice is to stay streetwise,” said Garda John Finnerty of Henry Street Garda Station.

Garda Finnerty warned that “crime can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere”.

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“The thieves think that they won’t be caught and the victim thinks that it won’t be him or her. The reality is very different. Not every thief will get caught but every victim will suffer.

“Our advice is not to put yourself in a vulnerable position,” Garda Finnerty said, outlining a number of key ways to stay safe when out celebrating this Christmas.

First among Garda Finnerty’s nuggets of wisdom was to “stay in the company that you know”.

“The consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other toxic substances not only diminishes your senses, but makes you particularly attractive to criminals. If you observe criminal behaviour, leave the area and call the Gardaí. Stay on well lit streets and walk against the flow of traffic,” the Henry Street Garda advised.

“Never get involved in other people’s disputes. Never respond to taunts or snide remarks by others – these are designed to engage you in conflict. Remember – you cannot rationalise with aggressive or drunk people.”

Garda Finnerty’s final piece of advice for the yuletide celebrations was: “Before you go out for the night, plan on how you will get home safely.”