POLICE in Worcestershire are reminding partygoers to be mindful of animals as they welcome in the new year.

West Mercia Police is urging residents to obide by the laws on fireworks, which may be frightening to cats and dogs, and not throw or set them off in the streets or public places.

Except for on Bonfire Night, fireworks cannot be used between 11pm and 7am.

Officers have released the following tips to keeping animals safe and happy this New Year’s Eve:

1. Make sure your pet has somewhere to hide if they need to.

2. Make sure your pet is always kept safe in a secure environment where they can't escape.

3. Allow your pet out in daylight and keep them indoors when the fireworks are likely to be set off. Close all curtains and windows and play music to block out the sound and sights of the night. Never punish your pets when they are scared as this will make them more stressed.

A spokesman for the force said: “It is important to enable your dog to feel safe and have a place that they can hide in if they wish to, but remember that making a big fuss about the noise and your dog's responses will only reinforce their behaviour and make it worse, so act as if everything is ok and carry on as normal as far as possible.”