Councillor slams '˜disgraceful cost' of young farmers event as girls steal disabled boy's bike
A disabled five-year-old boy had his bike stolen by young farmers in the resort for an annual gathering, police said.
The youngster was being helped into a car by his mum, outside The Layton Rakes pub in Market Street, when his green and blue bike was swiped by two women, police said.
Town centre CCTV footage shows them wheeling the bike – featuring a Monsters Inc design – off towards Talbot Square, at around 8.40pm yesterday.
Officers believe the pair may have taken it as a prank, and hope The Gazette’s readers can help reunite it with the boy, who is thought to suffer from chest problems.
PC Paul Showell, of Blackpool Police, said: “It’s really sad because the boy’s mum was loading up the car and they have taken the bike from the side of the car.
“She’s a really lovely mum and the family can’t afford to replace it.”
The first woman was described as white, in her late teens or early 20s, with long black hair. She was wearing a pink sun visor on her forehead, a pink t-shirt with green on the stomach area, and black leggings.
The second was described as white, with long black hair. She was wearing a similar top, with black shorts, and pink trainers.
A record number of young farmers descended on Blackpool for their yearly jaunt.
Some 6,000 are thought to have enjoyed the hottest weekend of 2016 so far, trade publication Farmers Weekly estimated.
But some were clearly unable to hand the party atmosphere, with paramedics called to the Prom, outside Las Iguanas, to help one reveller who looked worse for wear.
The North West Ambulance Service said it was unable to say whether it saw a spike in calls over the weekend because of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) weekend.
Councillor Tony Williams said: “It’s not all the young farmers, some really enjoy themselves and their antics can make you smile and laugh, but quite a few make it miserable for other visitors and cause disruption.
“Young farmers bring in a lot of much-needed income to the town, but at a disgraceful cost.
“The drunken behaviour and the mayhem makes me question whether we really need this sort of income.
“We are supposed to be cleaning up the town of stag and hens, and the council has let a gang of hooligans run loose.”
Videos shared online showed hordes of young farmers partying in town centre clubs until 4am yesterday.
Jess Riley, on Facebook, commented on one clip: “Some of them are just out for a laugh but a lot of them have behaved disgracefully.
“If us locals behave the way they have, throwing drinks everywhere, dancing on the tables, climbing up everything, we get kicked out.
“Why is it different for them?”
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said there were a ‘handful’ of arrests for drunk and disorderly behaviour, but said the young farmers ‘did not cause that many issues’.
“There were a lot of people there and it was a busy weekend, but there were no major incidents,” she added.
To report information on the stolen bike, call police on 101, quoting WA-16-06-544.
Blackpool Council and the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs have been asked for a comment.