PARTY-GOERS are encouraged to keep safe and have a good time as thousands head out to celebrate the New Year. 

Police are urging revellers to know when to stop drinking as part of its festive 12 Days of Christmas Advice campaign.

"It’s the party season when many people’s alcohol consumption increases and their common sense is left at home," said deputy chief constable David Zinzan. 

"Have fun but know your limits, know when to stop drinking and plan your evening. Traditionally, the number of incidents involving alcohol and violence, including assault, sexual offences and domestic abuse, increase over the festive period and this year is no exception.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves when celebrating over New Year and whilst most people drink responsibly, there is a small minority who do not.

“Alcohol can dramatically change someone’s behaviour which can often result in them doing something they may not do when sober. We are asking people to think about the consequences of excessive drinking before they begin their night out.”

Police advice to people to stay safe includes:

Drink responsibly – know when to stop drinking alcohol and drink water regularly during the evening.

Always walk away from trouble. Stay in control and prevent one night’s actions leaving you with a criminal record for years to come.

Plan how to get home before you go out and pre-book a licensed taxi if you will need one at the end of the evening.

Report domestic abuse and seek help and support if you are a victim. Police will be stepping up patrols on the region’s town centre streets to deal swiftly with drink-related incidents during the Christmas period.

Supporting the increased patrols are two poster campaigns, one targeting men and women under 25 with the message ‘Don’t turn a night out into a nightmare.'

The second is a campaign targeting men and women over 25 with graphic images and the message ‘Two drinks ago you would have walked away/got home safety.'