Common-sense advice on keeping trouble-free over the holidays

And Happy Christmas from Ealing Police!

Finnegan's Wake raided for under-age drinking

Dispersal order in place for Ealing Broadway

Are Ealing's party days over or just beginning?

Interesting links

- Licensing laws

Simple summary of the laws and implications from Economics and Business Magazine

Environmental Health Journal for informed debate

Personnel Today - will staff come to work with more of a hangover?


How do you think Ealing Council should deal with the new law? Discuss on our forum.

With the Christmas and New Year holiday season upon us, now is a good time to remind people to take steps to make sure criminals don't spoil your celebrations.

The advice below is often common sense, but you might overlook it in your haste to get everything ready for the festivities over the coming weeks.

Out and About

When the shops are crowded, the pickpocket has more chance to steal from you. If you can't arrange to shop during less busy times, make sure you stay alert and be extra careful with your wallet, purse and mobile phone. Keep your chequebook and cheque card separate.

When you're out Christmas shopping, never leave bags of presents, or anything for that matter on display in your car. Always lock everything in the boot, and try not to leave a car containing valuables unattended for long. If you can, take any valuables with you.

Remember motor vehicle offenders tend to be opportunistic - don't make yourself an easy target and always park in well lit residential areas or secure car parks.

Be extra vigilant at cash machines. Report anything that looks out of place on the machine and make sure no one can see you entering your personal identification number (PIN). Don't walk away with cash in your hand for everyone to see - put it in your purse, wallet or zip-pocket at the machine.

With general Christmas and New Year's celebrations, pubs, restaurants and other venues are often crowded. Don't leave bags over the back of your chair and keep wallets and purses close to your body to make it more difficult for the pickpocket. Busy places make it easier for the sneak thief, so be alert at all times. Don't drink too much - you could become a target for thieves.

Make prior arrangements as to how you will get home. Avoid the temptation to take a minicab on the street even if you are having difficulty getting a cab - it is illegal for minicabs to take passengers who have not pre-booked. Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back.

Avoid any potential disturbances on the street. Having a drink and a good night out is all part of the fun of Christmas and New Year. Just don't lose control of your senses and stay out of trouble.


Burglars know that people store up valuable items at Christmas, often leaving them in accessible places such as under the Christmas tree before December 25th, and then they're left out on display in the living room for days afterwards.

Keeping gifts under the Christmas tree is all part of the tradition, so if you really want to keep them there make sure the bottom of the tree is situated where no one can see it from outside your home.

Be extra wary of bogus callers around this time of year and this can include carol singers. Make sure your back door is locked whenever someone is keeping you occupied at the front door. Use a door chain and if you're at all uncertain don't let anyone in. Genuine callers this includes Charity collectors will have identification and will not be offended if you ask to see it.

If you're going away over the Christmas and New Year period to visit friends or relatives, or just to get away from it all, make sure your home looks occupied and get a neighbour to keep an eye on things. Set timer switches for lights, and radios, to give the impression that someone is at home. Lock up your garage and garden shed, as well as any garden tools and ladders, which can be used to gain access to your home. Plus, remember to cancel the papers and milk while you are away and either redirect your mail through the Post Office or have your neighbour take mail into the house - unopened Christmas cards and mail are a sure sign that a house is empty

Drink Driving

�Think before you drink� is the message from the Metropolitan Police Service this Christmas as it begins a campaign to remind drivers to think carefully before driving after they have been drinking. Lots of people enjoy a drink or two over the Christmas and New Year period but we need people to think before they drink. Think about how they will get home and whether they need to drive the following morning. Alcohol can stay in your system and affect your reactions the morning after. Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to judge distances and speed accurately. The safest option is not to drink if you plan to drive.

If you're simply caught without killing or maiming anyone you could go to jail for six months and receive a £5,000 fine, as well as being banned from driving for at least a year. You're likely to lose your job as well.

Finally Ealing Borough Police would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who lives, works and passes through Ealing Borough a happy crime free Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

December 21, 2004