Another busy Halloween period sees emergency service vehicles targeted by youths throwing bricks
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We can confirm there was an overall decrease in the number of calls received by the force about anti-social behaviour and criminal damage over the Halloween period (30th/31st October).
The force recorded a total of 920 emergency calls (999) and 453 non-emergency calls (101) during the police operation between 2pm - 11pm on 30th October which is a 2.73% decrease in comparison to the same day in 2018. On 31st October, the force recorded a total of 502 emergency calls and 266 non-emergency again from 2pm - 11pm. This is a 18.25% decrease than Halloween last year.
On 30th October, 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.
Worryingly the number of recorded items thrown at vehicles including bricks, stones, eggs and flour on 30th October has risen by 50% in comparison to last year.
On 31st October, 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.
However, officers did seize 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, T/Superintendent Paddy Kelly said: "The period between October 30th and November 5th 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 girlfriends 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 reconsider 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.
“I would also like to remind people ahead of Bonfire Night, that it is illegal for those under the age of 18 to buy, carry, or use fireworks and under the Explosives Act of 1875 it is illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place. I also ask that parents continue to talk to their children and are mindful of their whereabouts over the upcoming days so we can continue to keep those living, working and visiting Merseyside safe.”
Anyone who would like to report incidents of anti-social behaviour or criminal damage can contact police via @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK.