Safe haven for town clubbers

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CLUBBERS who get into trouble on a night out are being offered a safe haven in Blackpool town centre.

Police, ambulance and Blackpool Council are working together to develop facilities currently provided at the Buzz bus outside the town hall.

The Night Safe Haven will be launched tonight and will remain in place during future bank holiday weekends.

Insp Steve Allum, partnerships inspector, said: “We want residents and visitors to come into Blackpool and have a really good night out.

“While we know the majority of people will have a thoroughly enjoyable time, the Night Safe Haven will further enhance the support we are able to provide to those who may experience problems.”

The Night Safe Haven will incorporate a mobile police station to deal with reports of crime and to take statements from victims and witnesses.

St John Ambulance will provide a triage centre to assess minor injuries while North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) will have paramedics available to treat patients at the scene as well as referring cases to hospital.

The Safe Haven bus will provide an area of rest for those in need and advice in relation to alcohol and drug use and sexual health and triage nurses will provide free water, foil blankets, condoms and safe disposable footwear.

Dave Rigby, Fylde sector manager at NWAS, said: “Experience tells us to expect more incidents of alcohol related illness and injury on bank holiday weekends.

“As a result, NWAS is putting an extra emergency ambulance and crew in the town centre alongside the police and other partner organisations over what is set to be a busy few nights. Paramedics will treat patients at the scene as well as referring the worst cases to hospital. I must make the public aware this initiative is not an alternative to the A+E department and the treatment they provide.

“Most importantly this dedicated ambulance and crew means other ambulances in the area will be free to go to people who really need our help instead of being tied up with non-medical alcohol related incidents.”

Paolo Pertica, Blackpool Council’s head of neighbourhood services town centre and promenade said: “This is another welcomed development in Blackpool’s bustling town centre to ensure people have a good time in a safe and secure environment.”