Crime re­ports fall on Mis­chief Night

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

FIRE­WORKS were aimed at po­lice of­fi­cers and horses on Mis­chief Night – but po­lice say crime was “sig­nif­i­cantly” re­duced com­pared with last year.

Among a shock­ing ar­ray of crim­i­nal be­hav­iour, rocks were thrown at po­lice, cars and buses; fire­works were also thrown at shops; and fires were started in Skelmers­dale and Tar­leton.

Lan­cashire po­lice is­sued dis­per­sal zone or­ders in Skelmers­dale and Orm­skirk in re­sponse to the shock­ing in­ci­dents but say that the over­all num­ber of re­ports of ar­son, crim­i­nal dam­age and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour all dropped by at least a third, com­pared with 12 months ear­lier.

Mis­chief Night is marked in some ar­eas on Novem­ber 4, but its ori­gin in the USA is on Oc­to­ber 30 and that trend has spread to the UK in re­cent years.

There has also been a sig­nif­i­cant shift from pranks and mi­nor van­dal­ism to more dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­ity.

Sgt Dar­ren Carr, of Lan­cashire po­lice, at­trib­uted the drop in crime lev­els to the of the force in the lead-up to the day, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other au­thor­i­ties such as West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil.

On Oc­to­ber 30 this year there was a 40% re­duc­tion in the num­ber of re­ports of ar­son, a 35% drop in in­ci­dents of crim­i­nal dam­age, and a 49% fall in an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

Sgt Carr said: “Through­out the year, we deal with youths who are in­volved in anti-so­cial 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.

“Lo­cal shops are vis­ited and ad­vised about the sale of a num­ber of items that have been used for anti-so­cial 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-harden ‘at risk’ premises and con­duct other in­ter­ven­tions. 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 ‘Tac Ops’.”

He added: “I ap­pre­ci­ate for 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.”

Po­lice horses were tar­geted with fire­works dur­ing Mis­chief Night in West Lan­cashire

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