Take care at Rhythm and Vines

File photo.

Police are reminding those attending the Rhythm and Vines festival this New Year to take care of themselves and their friends.

“We want everyone to enjoy their time at the festival but we urge partygoers to look out for themselves and their mates the whole time,” says Senior Sergeant Ross Smith.

Those driving to Rhythm and Vines are also being asked to take care, share the driving, take rest stops and don't rush.

“Rhythm and Vines is likely to be the biggest event in Gisborne's social calendar. Police want people to enjoy themselves and to remember their celebrations for the right reasons,” he says.

“Drink in moderation and make smart decisions about how you're going to get to and from venues.

"Look after your friends as well - especially those who might have had too much to drink.

"Please have patience with the increased traffic volumes and organise a sober driver. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, stay looking sharp and last the distance so you can make it home,” says Ross.

Police encourage everyone heading along to think about their transport options in advance and think about their behaviour while there.

"Stay with your friends throughout the evening and make a plan on what to do if you get separated.

“If you are going to be drinking, eat food before you go out and encourage your friends to do the same."

Police also advise people to watch their drinks and not to accept any drinks, alcoholic or otherwise, that you haven't personally seen poured.

“At events of this size, where it's noisy and there are people everywhere, you're not likely to notice someone tampering with your drink."

He says all drivers should all expect to be breath tested when they leave the event.

"If you are planning to drink at the festival and aren't camping, make reliable arrangements on how you're getting home.

"Arrange a sober driver, or book a taxi or use one of the many bus services available.

"Keep in mind that if you're partying through the night, you won't be in a fit state to drive the next morning either.”

Those with vehicles parked at the event should ensure all doors and windows are locked and that valuables are kept out of sight if they need to be in the car, says Ross.

“Keep your keys in a secure place, preferably on a lanyard or stitched into a pocket. Having valuables stolen can put a damper on your celebrations, so whenever you're away from your tent, take your valuables with you.

"Campgrounds are an easy place for thieves to target as tents don't offer much security.

Consider not bringing valuables that you don't really need,” says Senior Sergeant Smith.

"It's not wise to bring expensive jewellery, cameras, laptops or speakers with you.

"It also pays to be aware of pick-pockets - your cell phone or wallet in your pocket could become an easy target when you're in a large crowd.

"Be aware of your belongings and where they are and make sure to turn on useful tools like the GPS tracking aps on your cell phones.

"So long as everyone uses common sense and looks out for their friends, we look forward to supervising the New Year's celebrations.”

He says a very large liquor ban has been established around the event site this year.

"It will be strictly enforced with everyone getting a $250 infringement fee for breaches."

More advice on keeping safe can be found on the Police website.


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