Police issue '˜Mad Friday' safety alert

Wigan pre-Christmas revellers have been urged to consider their actions and consequences ahead of Mad Friday.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 3:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm
Police during an operation to cope with the crowds on the busiest night in pubs and clubs of the year, Mad Friday, on King Street, Wigan

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the borough’s main town centres as part of the festivities on December 23 and while it is a time of particular celebration, it also often signals more trouble for the emergency services as alcohol-fulled violence breaks out.

Extra officers will be out on patrol on foot and in cars in a bid to ensure everyone has a fun and safe time.

Drink-driving, violence and antisocial behaviour will be targeted during one of the busiest nights of the year. And Greater Manchester’s Travelsafe unit will be patrolling the bus network to discourage crime and antisocial behaviour, ensuring revellers can get home safely.

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Chief Insp Gareth Parkin said: “We want people to enjoy celebrating Christmas but it’s important to stay in control and consider the consequences of our actions. While enjoying the festivities, one thoughtless act after too much alcohol can have disastrous results. It’s those split-second actions that we want people to stop and think about. These actions can result in devastating life-long consequences and we don’t want anyone’s Christmas or the rest of their lives ruined.

“If you’re out on Friday, please look after yourself and your friends. Know your limits, stay with your friends, control your temper and just walk away from trouble. Also think about how you are going to get home. Where possible pre-book your transport home, alternatively have some numbers of licensed taxis on your phone ready to get you home safely.

“Mad Friday is one of the busiest times of the year for us, so please only call 999 when necessary. We don’t want people calling for non-emergencies and stopping someone getting the help they need. People can call 101 for a non-emergency where people don’t require an immediate police response.”

John Fryer, Transport for Greater Manchester’s safer travel manager, said: “Make use of the many public transport services that are running and plan your journey in advance to ensure you don’t miss your last train, tram or bus. Our staff and the Travelsafe Unit will be out in force to ensure all those out on Christmas parties or for a drink with friends and loved ones can get to where they need to go - and back home again - safely and without incident.”