Safety in the Night-Time Economy
Dorset has a number of fun, vibrant places to visit for a night out. If you are going out in the county, or visiting somewhere else, taking some time to consider your personal safety can make a huge difference.
Excessive drinking lowers your inhibitions and can result in you making decisions you may come to regret. You may also become less able to identify potential risks or dangerous situations.
Ultimately, excessive drinking can lead to people getting themselves in trouble with the law, and also makes them more likely to be a victim of crime: taking a few simple precautions can help you and others safe.
Advice for a Safe Night Out
- Make sure your phone is charged before you go out and you are able to make calls
- Keep a small amount of money in your clothing, just in case you lose your purse or wallet and need to contact someone or get yourself home
- Stay with your friends: do not allow anyone to leave alone, or with someone they don’t know or trust
- Never leave your drink unattended. It takes a matter of seconds for someone to tamper with it and put you in danger
- Avoid walking alone at night: keep to well-lit roads and make sure someone knows where you are at all times
- Avoid short cuts that go through dark isolated areas
- If you are carrying a bag, try to hold it across your chest with your hand over the fastening
- Don’t carry any valuables on your person that you do not need, for example credit cards of important documents. Be discreet with your belongings – keep any valuables you are carrying out of sight as much as possible
- Be aware of your surroundings: talking on a mobile phone or listening to an MP3 player can distract you from what is going on around you and also alerts thieves that you have something to steal
- There is no excuse for drink or drug driving
- You don’t have to be drunk to be a drink driver
- A second drink can double your chance of being involved in a fatal collision
- Beware the morning after
- Time is the only way to ensure you aren’t driving whilst under the influence
- Plan how to get home without driving
- Don’t offer alcohol or drugs to someone you know is planning to drive
- Don’t accept a lift from a drink or drug driver
- Don’t let someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get behind the wheel
- Have a glass of water with every drink you have – staying hydrated can help to reduce the effect of alcohol on your body
- Order your drinks with ice – as the ice melts, the drink is diluted
- Taking your time with a drink pays off. Your body absorbs alcohol quicker than you metabolize it
- Eating slows down the absorption of alcohol so you have more time to metabolise what you’re drinking. Fats and carbs will line the stomach and replace sugars that the body needs for fuel.
For more information, visit the NHS Drugs and Alcohol advice page.
- Avoid confrontation and arguments – it is safer to walk away and will prevent you from doing something you regret
- Encourage your friends to walk away from confrontation – some people become more aggressive and volatile when they have been drinking, always try to diffuse situations involving people you know to be in this condition
- Never put yourself in danger. If you are concerned about escalating violence, tell a security worker, or call the police.
- A person only consents to sex if he or she agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. If someone is incapable of consenting (for example if they are too drunk or asleep) it is still sexual violence
- Look out for your friends, particularly if you feel they are drunk and vulnerable.
- You should never have to do something sexual that you don’t feel comfortable with, even if many of your friends are comfortable with similar situations or if you’ve done it before
Information about sexual assault, and the help and support available can be found on this site. Find out more about sexual assault