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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Taser and PAVA spray used by police to quell disturbance

Police fired a Taser stun gun and used pepper-type spray while responding to a brawl at the end of carnival day in Wigton.

Two officers were hurt and a Ford Focus police vehicle damaged after trouble erupted on West Street at about 10.30pm on Saturday.

The West Street social club, where a function was taking place, was also shut down early for the night following talks between police and staff. Three arrests were made by officers.

One eyewitness reported seeing eight police vehicles – four vans and four cars – as revellers spilled out onto one of the main roads through Wigton.

He said: “There was no trouble despite it being incredibly busy and then all of a sudden the street was swarming with police. No-one knew what had gone on.

“Police entered the pub and told everyone to leave. No-one could believe that a seemingly quiet carnival day had erupted into chaos.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said two officers received minor injuries and a vehicle was damaged.

Incapacitating PAVA spray was used as well as a Taser.

The spokeswoman added: “After this there was a large number of people in the area and police were asked by staff at the West Street social club if they could assist them in closing down the club and ensuring that people left.”

The landlord of the club declined to comment.

Saturday’s late-night incident happened in the hours after the town’s annual carnival had ended.

Carnival organiser Dennis Graham today said it would not spoil what was a successful event.

Mr Graham said: “It was an absolutely fabulous day. It is a children’s carnival and we had more walkers this year with more families taking part.

“What happened on Saturday night was nothing to do with the carnival, that finishes around 5pm. But it is sad that this has happened. It won’t mar what we do.”

Mark Bell, 21, of Brackenlands, Wigton, was charged with using or threatening insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence. He is due to appear before magistrates in Carlisle on July 15.

A man, 29, from Wigton, was cautioned for being drunk and disorderly.

A 27-year-old man from Wigton was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, causing criminal damage and resisting arrest. He was bailed while investigations continue.

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