On patrol as police help revellers enjoy night out

Malvern Gazette: CHEERS: Insp Steph Brighton and new landlord of The Kings Head in Upton, Alastair King. CHEERS: Insp Steph Brighton and new landlord of The Kings Head in Upton, Alastair King.

WITH the festive party season well under way, Wet Mercia Police have launched their Christmas Presence campaign devoting an extra 20 per cent of resources to patrolling the streets across the region.

We were joined at Malvern police station at 9pm by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, Malvern Hills District Council vice-chairman Coun Mike Morgan, police chaplain Rev Tony Walley and Paul Leopold from Malvern Neighbourhood Watch. The evening there started dramatically as Inspector Steph Brighton found herself dealing with a man who was shouting the odds after being arrested on suspicion of assault and didn't seem particularly keen to have his evening cut short.

Once he was dealt with and taken into police custody, we left in two cars to Upton to visit pubs - which Insp Brighton described as “our eyes and ears around the town” - to check everything was in order.

“The one thing about Fridays and Saturdays is there’s no pattern,” she said. “The nights when we put in a lot of resources often nothing happens, and when we don’t have as many, that might be when it gets busy. It’s very, very fluid.”

Apart from a couple of venues hosting Christmas parties and two very enthusiastic ladies dressed as bananas who we seemed to bump into at every turn, the town was largely quiet.

Satisfied Upton was not about to explode into an orgy of drunken destruction, we returned to Malvern where we found Christmas festivities in full swing.

Popping into some of the town’s most popular drinking establishments, including a rammed Foley Arms in Worcester Road and Olivers in Bellevue Terrace, we were met with a mixture of cheers and slightly concerned looks by punters, although most lost interest once they realised they weren’t about to be arrested.

After our final stop of Priors Croft, we called an end to our largely uneventful threehour trip, although Insp Brighton explained things were likely to get much more chaotic later in the evening after venues started to close and drinkers scrambled to either get home or find their next drink. She said it was likely the night had been fairly quiet so far due to the bad weather, which officers have branded PC Rain.

“We usually love PC Rain but people get to the point of inebriation where it doesn’t matter to them any more,”

she said. “We just want people to enjoy themselves but stay safe.”

Mrs Baldwin said she found the trip very informative.

“It was very useful to get the insights of local police officers and understand some of the challenges they face throughout the year,”

she said. “I would like to pay tribute to all local police officers and support staff and thank them for all their hard work. I hope they have a peaceful and quiet Christmas and New Year period.”

So next time you are out drinking, spare a thought for the hard-working police officers who are out and about making sure everyone has a fun - and most of all safe - time.


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