1. ITV Report

Police issue safety guidelines ahead of Diwali

Thousands of people are expected at the Diwali lights switch-on. Photo: ITV News Central

Diwali festivities are taking pace in Leicester on Sunday October 16 and thousands of people are expected to attend.

Last year, the celebrations in Leicester attracted 37,000 people - one of the biggest celebrations of the festival outside of India.

The light switch-on will take place on Belgrave Road and Cossington Street Recreation Ground between 5.30pm and 8pm. Those celebrating will also be able to enjoy an aerial firework display from Belgrave Road.

Superintendent Kerry Smith has urged people attending to follow their safety guidelines:

We would like to wish everyone celebrating, a very happy and safe Diwali. We want you to enjoy the festivities and we are asking you to follow our Celebrate Safely crime prevention measures.

We also want those celebrating to know that the firework display has been designed by the organisers this year so that is can be seen clearly by anyone standing in Belgrave Road.

– Leicestershire Police’s Neighbourhoods and Partnerships Superintendent Kerry Smith
The Diwali wheel is set to make a return. Credit: Leicester City Council

Leicestershire police have issued the following guidelines:

  • Be discreet with your valuables/money. Carry bags close to you and keep them closed when no in use.
  • Cover jewellery to ensure it is not on show; for example, wear a scarf to cover a necklace.
  • Be aware of what is happening around you and trust your instincts, if you feel unsafe change your direction and go where you feel safer or are more visible to other people.
  • Before leaving home, remember to lock your doors and windows, even if you are going out for only a short time.
  • Consider using a timer switch for lights and a radio if you go out in the evening or overnight.
  • Always report incidents to the Police.
  • Never overfill your karahi with oil or leave it unattended when the heat is on. If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave it to cool.
  • Use only enough ghee for the diva to last your puja. If you do need to leave a diva, candle or nightlight unattended, make sure that it rests safely on a surface which will not melt or burn. At all times, keep the flame at a safe distance from curtains, decorations, or clothing.

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