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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Carlisle police to patrol with medics on Black Eye Friday

Carlisle police will patrol with medics on Black Eye Friday tomorrow to nip trouble in the bud before it leads to arrest and injury.

Sergeant Richard Higgin photo
Sergeant Richard Higgin

Officers say they will be pounding the beat with healthcare professionals in the city centre in an operation to keep a lid on problems on probably the most notorious drinking day in the calendar.

They will also have an emergency services and advice “pod” – a mobile office – set up in the heart of the city’s nightlife hotspots.

The moves are part of a string of measures to stop alcohol-fuelled violence over the bustling festive period.

This includes work on the two key dates of New Year’s Eve and Black Eye Friday – traditionally the most popular day for start-of-holiday drinks, with many workplaces finishing and people celebrating by hitting the pubs.

In the past this has led to violent flashpoints and the day was given its notorious nickname.

The ‘pod’ will be set up on the Englishgate Plaza car park, off Botchergate. It is also to be a base for staff from the Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service and street pastors – volunteers who help those who have had too much to drink.

Police and medics will aim to give advice to people who look drunk or whose behaviour could lead to problems, as well as dishing out leaflets and cards about keeping safe and avoiding trouble.

Sergeant Richard Higgin said: “Police officers will go on patrol with a healthcare professional offering advice, guidance and help to people who need it.

“We’ve identified this Friday and New Year’s Eve as the busiest days for people.”

Inspector Andy Hanson added: “We are hopeful we can stop people having to go into A&E and stop people getting locked up.”

Extra officers will be out, with bobbies patrolling busy streets such as Botchergate from midday and patrols continuing until 4am on Saturday. Sgt Higgin added: “We’d like people to go out and enjoy themselves but we would urge them not to drink to excess.”

Officers will also be mounting an easily identifiable camera to focus on Botchergate and Englishgate Plaza and video cameras will be used by officers to record evidence.

Banning orders can also be issued to those who police think should be moved on, with officers following this up with a visit to the person’s home the next day.

Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said: “It is only a minority who become involved in violence or disorder and by providing extra officers we are able to monitor situations and intervene before they escalate.

“We will not tolerate people who put others at risk of harm by engaging in violent behaviour. Everyone in Cumbria has a right to socialise with friends and family without fear of intimidation or violence.”

Cumbria’s crime commissioner Richard Rhodes will patrol with officers on Botchergate tomorrow, saying he wants to experience first-hand the types of problems police deal with.

In west Cumbria, measures include having taxi marshals on duty and extra officers being deployed to potential flashpoint areas.

Have your say

Yes Brian - see something did happen on the estates..... someone got stabbed in Raffles.

So crime does happen outside of the city centre


Posted by Sandy on 2 January 2014 at 14:25

Probably a bit late to comment and will go unnoticed but I must say it has been a very safe festive period and the police have done a great job working with the pubs, clubs, and door staff to ensure people could come out and enjoy themselves. Having worked the majority of key nights there has been very few incidents occurred. Well done!

Posted by Landlord on 2 January 2014 at 11:35

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