Fleetwood carnage: families "forced" to hide in Marine Hall as gang of youths riot outside

Police say the incident last night ended with one of their vehicles being damaged.
Police say the incident last night ended with one of their vehicles being damaged.
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Terrified families hid in Fleetwood’s historic Marine Hall as a gang of youths rioted outside, according to police.

Tourists attending a dance competition were apparently “forced” to stay indoors as a swarm of youngsters faced off with police in the street – and smashed a police car’s windscreen.

Marine Hall in Fleetwood.

Marine Hall in Fleetwood.

But a local councillor said officers “need to be very careful they are not misrepresenting what was going on” after the force backtracked after a Facebook post claimed “up to 100 youths” were “causing public order offences and criminal damage at the hall itself”, which it said “forced families to remain inside out of fear for their own safety” on Tuesday night.

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Coun Rachel George, who was outside the venue and counted nine police cars, said the Facebook post, believed to have been written by an officer in the town, was “describing another incident”.

A police spokesman yesterday told The Gazette logs indicated only around “30-odd” youngsters were involved, while Wyre Council, which owns the Marine Hall, confirmed “no damage was caused there”.

It said the “situation was “intimidating for the staff and patrons”, but said: “Patrons were not in danger, nor advised to stay inside the theatre for fear of safety.”

One boy, 14, was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, and police wrote on the ‘Fleetwood Area Police’ Facebook page: “Due to the number of youths, not all could be dealt with as robustly as we would have liked.”

Coun George said: "How they said 100 kids I don’t know. They should be very careful not to over-exaggerate things."