‘Mischief Night’ yobs hurl fireworks at police horses
BRICKS and firenight.works were thrown at police officers and police cars in shocking incidents around West Lancashire on Tuesday
Vandalism and antisocial behaviour soared during “Mischief Night” with one bus passenger narrowly avoiding being hit in the head by a rock hurled through a bus window in Tarleton.
Mischief Night occurs the evening before Hallowe’en and in recent years has gone from minor vandalism to more dangerous activity.
Police deployed increased patrols, including the use of mounted officers, but those on duty were subjected to shocking attacks from members of the public.
Fireworks were aimed at officers and cars and even thrown at police horses.
A group of teenagers throwing stones off the bridge on Tanhouse Road in Skelmersdale while a fire was started at nearby Digmoor Parade.
Another fire was started in a wheely bin in St Mark’s Tarleton and one suspect, described by police only as a “youth”, was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon after being found carrying a knuckle duster.
At about 10.40pm, a rock was thrown through a bus window near the Cock and Bottle pub in Tarleton, showering glass over a passenger, with the rock almost hitting him.
The man got off the bus to find the culprit, but they had already run away. The bus operator, Stagecoach, had earlier suspended services in Kirkby after being targeted by vandals.
In response to the spate of incidents, Insp Adrian Jolley issued dispersal orders in Ormskirk and Tanhouse. This gave his officers the power to order anyone believed to be acting suspiciously to leave the area and arrest them if they refused or returned.
Writing on Facebook, local residents expressed shock over the crime and disorder and called for stronger punishments to be issued.
Some reported eggs being thrown at windscreens and fireworks being aimed at the Marks & Spencer shop in Ormskirk.
Earlier in the day, Sgt Darren Carr said officers had been briefed for the night and had visited known youths and parents to warn them against anti-social behaviour.
Officers were shocked after seizing eggs from one group in Skelmersdale and learning one youth’s mum had bought them for them.
When the disorder had finally calmed down, Sgt Carr said: “Thanks, as always, to the public for their support and information. I’d like to thank the members of our Special Constabulary who have supported their regular colleagues this evening, thanks also to the mounted unit their presence is always welcome and a big thank you to the teachers from local schools who have given their own time to help identify people.
“As a direct result of the partnership working with schools we have identified youths that we will be engaging in joint interventions with to prevent future issues.”
Were you affected by the vandalism? Email Advertiser reporter Jamie Lopez at: jamie.lopez@ reachplc.com