MERSEYSIDE Police chiefs revealed that the force recorded a total of 920 emergency calls to the 999 number and 453 non-emergency calls to the 101 number during the police operation between 2pm and 11pm on Wednesday, October 30 - a 2.73% decrease in comparison to last year.
On October 30, there was a 24% increase in reports of anti-social behaviour (406 offences) and
criminal damage (155 offences) compared to last year. Four police vehicles were also damaged, however no officers were injured. Additionally, officers seized 13 fireworks, 2 motorbikes and arrested 8 people for offences including criminal damage and public order as well as issuing 4 cannabis cautions.
On Thursday, October 31, the force recorded a total of 502 emergency calls and 266 non-emergency again from 2pm to 11pm. This is an 18.25% decrease than Halloween last year.
The number of recorded items thrown at vehicles including bricks, stones, eggs and flour on October 30 has ‘worryingly risen by 50%’ in comparison to last year.
On October 31, there was a 6% increase in reports of anti-social behaviour (173 offences) and criminal damage (38 offences) compared to last year, which saw 199 offences.
Officers seized 26 fireworks and arrested 14 people for offences including criminal damage, possession of drugs and public order. This is two more than last year and four more than 2017.
Commander for the policing operation, Superintendent Paddy Kelly said: "The period between October 30 and November 5 is often a busy time for police and I’m disappointed to report that again this year, we’ve seen a number of emergency service vehicles damaged by young people throwing items including bricks at them. This means that some first responders have been unable to attend emergency calls due to their vehicle being damaged. It is shocking that anyone would find it acceptable to put our officers, staff and partners at risk and potentially deny a member of the public the emergency service they require.
“It’s not big and it’s not clever - it’s criminal and could have serious or fatal consequences. I have asked before and I will ask again, to those committing these stupid acts of criminality: how would you feel if a police car or ambulance wasn’t able to get to your house, to your grandparents’ house, to your girlfriend’s house and they were left to suffer simply because a burning wheelie bin was in the road or the patrol car was now unsuitable to drive due to the windows being smashed? I’m sure you would soon re-consider your actions.
“This festive period should be fun and we actively encourage our communities to come together and celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night, but to do so safely.
“A massive amount of effort and planning has gone into this week-long operation and I would like to reinforce our message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
"I would like to reassure the public that we will continue to have increased high-visibility patrols over the coming days. We will also continue working closely with partner agencies and take swift action against the small minority who are intent on causing trouble in the community.”
Anyone who would like to report incidents of anti-social behaviour or criminal damage can contact police via @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK.