'Don't end NYE in an ambulance', Londoners urged to drink sensibly this weekend

Paramedics are on hand to keep New Year's Eve partygoers safe this weekend, but revellers are also urged to take some precautions themselves, ITV London's Carolyn Sim reports

As thousands of people prepare to ring in the New Year this weekend in central London, medics are urging revellers to keep their wits about them and to drink sensibly.

An extra 200 London Ambulance Service staff will be on duty to keep people in the capital safe on Sunday night.

But LAS Gold Commander Cathy-Anne Burchett says there are some simple things partygoers can do to avoid kicking off 2024 with a medical emergency.

"We just ask Londoners that if they're going to go out drinking on New Year's Eve and enjoying the festivities to be safe.

"Have a meal beforehand, ensure they have soft drinks in between, just so they can enjoy their New Year's Eve night and not end it in the back of an ambulance if possible."

Specialist teams from Safer Spaces Now will also be on hand to make sure people are safe on the night.

The community interest company's founder Anna MacGregor told ITV London: "You can find yourself very quickly on your own, in a big crowd of people, with no phone service and maybe not feeling safe.

"So, our team will work to give you somewhere to be safe, help you access friends, family and support and to get home safely."

Specialists from Safer Spaces Now will be in and about the crowds to make sure people feel safe. Credit: ITV London

She had urged people to look out for Safer Space's team wearing bright coral t-shirts in and about the crowd.

"Feel free to chat to us if you need any support at all. Alternatively, you can come along to the Safer Spaces Now CIC tents, we will have a calm space with a welcoming team to support anyone that feels vulnerable or just needs a chat," Ms MacGregor added.

"We are there to be a part of the solution and you can help us too, by not being a bystander and calling out inappropriate behaviour and abuse if you feel safe to do so. If not you can report to our team, the police or a member of security."

Met Police Commander, Karen Findlay, said: “Officers will be out across the central London fireworks display areas working closely with stewards, emergency service colleagues and partners to keep people safe, as well as ensuring we are responding to 999 calls and providing reassurance right across the city within our local communities. “We have been working hard with our partners in the run up to New Year’s Eve to ensure that everyone who wants to enjoy the celebrations can do so safely. We will proactively intervene where anyone is intent on, or seeking to undermine the occasion. “On extremely busy evenings such as these, we are always grateful from the support from the public as our extra eyes and ears. “If you do have any concerns or see something suspicious, please speak with one of the officers so we can respond quickly.”

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