Bob Paris: We want everybody to enjoy Hogmanay

Signage for Edinburgh's hogmany 2014 into 2015 George IV Bridge looking to the High Street.

Signage for Edinburgh's hogmany 2014 into 2015 George IV Bridge looking to the High Street.

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Tonight’s Hogmanay Street Party once again puts Edinburgh in the national and international spotlight and Police Scotland has been working closely with our partners at Edinburgh City Council and Unique Events to ensure the celebrations are a success.

Significant planning has been undertaken for several months and a range of police resources will be deployed across the city to keep the public safe and respond to the various incidents that will arise over the evening.

While police and partner agencies will be doing all they can to maintain public safety and deter criminal activity, our communities also have a vital role to play.

If you are planning on heading out to a Hogmanay event then please plan your night in advance and no exactly how you are getting to your destination and how you’re getting home.

Where possible consider using public transport if you need to travel and if you do chose to walk, do so with people you know and trust and stick to well-lit areas.

Many of us will be ringing in the new year with a drink and I would urge everyone to please avoid the over-consumption of alcohol. Drinking to excess may prevent you from entering licensed premises in the Capital, which have all been briefed on their responsibilities when serving patrons. More importantly, however, it may leave you vulnerable to crime and ultimately ruin a wonderful evening.

I would also like to echo recent warnings from police and other partners in health and social care in relation to the dangers associated with new psychoactive substances – so-called legal highs. While there is no legislation prohibiting the sale or purchase of these items, they are far from safe and can pose a genuine threat to your long-term health. Also the risk from discarded needles is a concern to the public.

Our advice remains consistent – do not take the risk, as it is impossible to tell whether the chemicals used to create these substances are all safe for consumption. We are working with our partners to minimise these risks.

Lastly, a wee reminder that the alcohol limit for driving has been lowered, which effectively means no alcohol should be consumed when driving. Remember too the effects of alcohol on the morning after. Don’t let alcohol spoil your holidays.

Chief Inspector Bob Paris is local area commander for Edinburgh Central