STIRLING residents have been urged to remain vigilant while shopping and on nights out during the Christmas season.

Best Bar None is urging everyone to be aware of their own personal safety when they go out this festive season.

The Christmas party season is just about upon us, and the High Streets are already getting busier with shoppers trying to beat the festive rush. All this adds up to a lot more footfall, especially in busy town and city centres.

Best Bar None Stirling Coordinator, Dale Cowan, is urging everyone to take care of their own personal safety this Christmas to ensure they don’t put themselves in any dangerous situations and are not a victim of crime.

He said: “We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy a good and safe night out.

"It is in all our interests; the general public, business and the emergency services, to keep the day and night-time economy vibrant and safe places to visit.

"Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a good night out to take a dangerous turn.

"It’s the responsibility of all venues to place the personal safety of visitors at the top of its priority list. Yes, venues want everyone to have a great time and enjoy themselves, but safety must come first."

“However, it is also vital that the individual is taking steps to ensure they stay safe. We would always encourage responsible drinking, plan ahead and let your family and friends know where you are going and who you are going with.

"Plan how you are going to get home by pre-booking a licensed taxi or by making sure you know the times for your train or bus. Also make sure your phone is charged, never leave your drink unattended and take care of your bag and belongings. If your out with family or friends look after one another and make sure you all get home safely.

“I would also stress, do not be the bystander who watches inappropriate behaviour; if it is not acceptable when sober, it is not acceptable when under the influence of alcohol. Tell staff if you have any concerns or contact police.”

Best Bar None’s ethos is centred around quality: quality of experience when going out; quality of customer care; and quality being applied to every aspect of a visit.

We all want to enjoy going out, we all want to feel safe and we all want to know that family and friends are safe.

Best Bar None is a not-for-profit funded national accreditation and award scheme aiming to raise standards amongst licensed venues, recognising positive management helping to facilitate safe and enjoyable nights out for the public.

It works to reduce crime, reward excellence, and raise standards of alcohol licensed premises. It was developed in partnership with the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Licensing Boards, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and many other local partners.

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