Town centre safety this Christmas 2018

Published: Friday, 21 December 2018

Festive party-goers are being reminded of how they can stay safe on nights out this Christmas and New Year.

Revellers are encouraged to make plans with friends before leaving the house. These should include an agreed meeting point for where they can meet up should they get separated, ensuring their mobile phones are fully charged and plans for how they will get home at the end of the night.

If walking home, people are urged to stick together and to use well lit, busy streets. A safer route home, back to the new University of Northampton Waterside Campus is available from Northampton Borough Council’s website.

If using a taxi or private hire car to get home, it is important to use licensed vehicles.

All licensed taxis and private hire vehicles in Northampton must display a license plate at the rear of their vehicle as well as their driver registration details inside the car.

Taxis and private hire vehicles operate under different licenses:

  • Taxis can be hailed from a taxi rank or the street. For a quicker and safer journey home, support is available from the Taxi Marshalls, during busy weekends, in the taxi rank on Mercers Row.
  • All private hire car journeys must be booked in advance and, if it is not booked in advance, the journey will be uninsured, putting the driver and passengers at risk. It is illegal to use a private hire car that you hail in the street.

As an additional safety measure during the festive period, temporary road closures will be in place on key dates. Bridge Street will be closed to traffic between 12am and 5am on:

  • Saturday 22 December
  • Sunday 23 December
  • Tuesday 1 January

Barriers will be placed across the top and bottom of the street along with clear diversion signs to direct traffic. The road will be open as normal during the day.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We all like to catch up with friends and family to celebrate at Christmas and New Year, but it is really important that we all stay safe during those celebrations.   

“Always use a licensed taxi or private hire car to get home - if you don’t see a license plate, do not get in the car. If you get separated from friends whilst you are still out, support is available. Head to our marshalled taxi rank on Mercers Row or seek out the Street Pastors, who will be patrolling Bridge Street, Abington Street and Wellingborough Road during busy periods.”

The town’s licencing sergeant, Martin O’Connell, said: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable festive night out, and would urge people to plan ahead and arrange, in advance, how they’re getting home.

“Also, if you notice someone who appears vulnerable while you’re out during the evening, tell someone such as a door supervisor, street pastor or police officer, or call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.  Remember, stick together and travel together and have a safe and happy Christmas.”