Officers targeted with bricks and fireworks!
POLICE say incidents of criminal and antisocial behaviour in West Lancs on so-called Mischief Night were down this year - despite officers having bricks and fireworks thrown at them!
Reports of arson, criminal damage and antisocial behaviour in the borough on the night before Halloween (Tuesday, October 30) were down by 40%, 35% and 49% respectively.
In Skelmersdale there were a number of incidents in the Egerton and Ennerdale areas where yobs threw stones at police staff and vehicles.
Following this a dispersal notice was issued for Tanhouse so people could be instructed to leave the area with a power of arrest for those refusing to do so or returning to the area.
There was also a report stones being thrown off the bridge on Tanhouse Road as well as youths causing a nuisance on Ivybridge.
Police also seized eggs from youths in Inglewhite. The shop where they were bought was visited and officers found out that a mother of one of the youths had bought them on their behalf.
Meanwhile Ormskirk Police reported incidents of youths throwing fireworks and other items.
Following this officers authorised a dispersal notice under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This gives officers the power to order people out of the area, with a power of arrest for those that refuse or return within the time limit, it also gives them the power to seize any item believed to be for antisocial behaviour.
Elsewhere a wheelie bin was set on fire in Mark Square in Tarleton and fireworks thrown at police horses which were deployed.
Following the incident at Mark Square a youth was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, a knuckle duster.
Overall though Sergeant Darren Carr from Lancashire Police said crime on Mischief Night in the borough was down compared to other years.
He said: “Throughout the year we deal with youths who are involved in antisocial behaviour and minor crime, these youths have a number of interventions from our early action teams to address their behaviour and prevent it escalating.
“On the run-up to the annual operation, these youths, and their parents, are visited by police officers, while local shops are also visited and advised about the sale of a number of items that have been used for antisocial behaviour in the past.
“Our staff report any discarded items they find on their beats that could be used as missiles, to the council who remove them for us.
“We also work with Lancashire Fire and Rescue to target at-risk premises and conduct other interventions.
“And we do Early Action work with the schools around education of the youths and several teachers joined us on this year's operation.
“On the evening we bring in extra resources from other areas of South Division and specialist departments such as mounted and tactical operations.
“Having just received the figures for the October 30 this year and last year, despite the pockets of antisocial behaviour that I reported via our Facebook page, there has been a significant reduction on previous years with reports of arson down by 40%, criminal damage down by 35% and reports of antisocial behaviour down by 49%.
“I appreciate those communities that were within the pockets of disorder will not feel the reductions but we will be doing everything we can to reduce this further in future years.
“Once again I would like to thank the public for their continued support, our partner agencies who do a lot of unseen work behind the scenes, the shop staff who support us by implementing our recommendations and my staff who continue to work hard for the people of West Lancashire.”