Safety first. That is the message from the Ministry of Police to Samoa on the eve of Christmas 2016.
The message was conveyed by the Police Spokesperson, Su’a Lemamea Tiumalu, during a press conference called to remind everyone to take care.
“This is meant to be a season of celebration but we want everyone to be safe,” said Su’a. “We are urging everyone to please look out for themselves, their families and their neighbours.”
So far so good, Su’a said.
Apart from a couple of minor skirmishes and car crashes, the start of the festive season has been positive.
But Su’a knows that over the next few days as people rush around for last minute Christmas shopping, anything can happen.
“This week is bound to get busier because people will do their last minute shopping,” he said.
“Not only our local people will be running around but also those who are visiting from overseas. So we urge everyone to be alert.”
Alcohol is one of the biggest problems at this time of the year.
Su’a is mindful they will not be able to stop people from drinking but he is urging everyone to be responsible.
“If you’re drinking then don’t drive, it’s as simple as that,” said Su’a. “If you know your friend has had too many drinks, don’t let them drive. Help them and take them home.”
Since last week, Police have been holding roadblocks at random places strategically calculated to catch drunk drivers.
“This will continue until after the festive season,” he said. “We will not tolerate any drunk drivers who are caught at these check points.”
Su’a wants everyone to enjoy themselves responsibly.
“Leave the vehicle home, or get a designated driver if you are going out to consume alcohol,” Su’a said.
“The public should also make good use of our taxis because there are many of them to make sure everybody gets home safely.”
Lastly, Su’a wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year on behalf of the Police Force.