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Parents urged to help keep youngsters safe at Prom time

With the annual “Prom season” approaching, Safer North Hampshire and local council licensing teams are urging parents and young people to stay safe.

A school prom is a formal party to celebrate an important date at school such as the end of secondary school or after completing school exams in Year 11 (aged 15-16) and in Year 13 (aged 17-18). Prom parties are held in June or July, around the end of exam time or the end of term.

Safer North Hampshire has compiled the following advice to parents to help keep young people safe when they are out:

  • Parents should ensure they know where their children are going, how they are getting there and how they are getting home.
  • Ensure young people going to a Prom know to remain with their friends, and to never leave a drunken friend alone and vulnerable. Ensure they know to contact the emergency services if anyone is in any kind of trouble.
  • Parents and older family members should be aware that it is against the law for an adult to buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of an individual aged under 18-years-old. Drinking alcohol under 18 years-old can be hazardous to a young person’s health and development.
  • Parents should also be aware that they are responsible for any under 18s in their property who will be considered as under their care.
  • Talk with your child about drinking and drugs and make sure he or she knows that such things will not be tolerated and what the potential consequences can be – let your child know that you will come and pick him or her up, if necessary.

Advice is also available for parents hiring vehicles to take young people to a Prom:

  • If booking Limousines or other vehicles to take prom-goers to their event, check they hold the appropriate licence. Vehicles hired with eight or less passenger seats should be licensed as a Private Hire Vehicle with the local council. To check whether a supplier you are considering using is licensed, contact your local authority licensing team.
  • Vehicles being hired with more than eight passenger seats are licensed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as Public Service Vehicles. Further information about this is available at www.gov.uk/psv-operator-licences.
  • Using an unlicensed service may result in insurance being invalidated, and may mean that the relevant checks about the safety of the vehicle and the suitability of the driver have not been carried out.

Caroline Ryan, Community Safety Manager of Safer North Hampshire said: “We encourage everyone to have fun on Prom night, but we want to ensure that they do so safely, without endangering themselves or others.”