Police team’s 17 arrests on busiest night

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Police in Blackpool made 17 arrests during a Facebook and Twitter ‘takeover’ on what was one of the busiest nights of the year for the emergency services.

Officers from one of the force’s rapid response teams used social media to give residents an insight into the challenges they faced as revellers packed into venues to celebrate the new year.

Between 5pm on New Year’s Eve and 4am yesterday, they also dealt with 36 emergency incidents, 34 priority incidents, and six missing persons.

Fourteen of the arrests came after midnight – including at 12.01am – and saw people booked into custody for assault, using threatening behaviour, and being drunk and disorderly.

Immediate response officer PC Matt Walters ran the takeover using the hashtag #team3takeover.

He said: “We are always first on the scene which means we attend a huge range of call outs.”

Officers were called to a town centre pub as early as 5.50pm, where they arrested a drunk party-goer causing a scene.

They then searched for a man reported to be carrying a hammer in South Shore, before heading to a takeaway where a gang of 30 teenagers were misbehaving.

A boy was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and the rest were sent on their way.

A Kirkham man marked midnight in a jail cell after he was arrested on suspicion of hitting a woman in the face.

Not all the call-outs ended in arrest though. Officers helped paramedics at a house in South Shore after a woman cut herself with a knife, and warned a man, also in South Shore, about his ‘loud’ behaviour shortly before the clock struck midnight.

Resident Kelly Gale said: “I hope he has the best hangover. His shouting was ridiculous.”

Other incidents included a reveller arrested after becoming aggressive with bouncers in St Annes, and arrested for vehicle theft and failure to appear in court.

Social media users praised officers from Team 3 Response.

Sarah Dolan said: “Bless you all, having one busy night. Happy New Year. What would we do without you?”

And Paul Tozer said: “Happy New Year to all the brave officers doing an incredible job on a busy night. Thank you for keeping us safe, from a retired fire officer enjoying a family night.”

Fiona Hope added: “Happy New Year and many thanks for all your hard work. I really appreciate it.”

Team Three Response has 23 officers, two sergeants and an inspector.

After ending their shift slightly later than planned yesterday morning, they headed home to get some rest before their next shift started – at 3pm yesterday afternoon.

PC Walters said: “We would like to wish you all the best for 2016 and hoped you enjoyed following our activity.”