Keeping a lid on East Lancashire town centre troublemakers

Lancashire Telegraph: CRACKING DOWN: A man is handcuffed as an officer waits for back-up to take him away CRACKING DOWN: A man is handcuffed as an officer waits for back-up to take him away

“HE was drunk and just wanted to fight anybody in sight.”

So remarked an employee of Happy Haddock takeaway in Darwen Street, Blackburn, as we watched a man lying on the floor, arms across his face, curled up in pain from the PAVA spray stinging his red raw eyes.

He’d just been ejected from the shop after staff contacted police when the man became abusive and threatening.

He squared up aggressively to the officer, but was soon on the floor and under arrest for being drunk and disorderly.

The employee added: “He was drunk and being aggressive and threatening.

"Then he threw his mate’s food at us. When he’s sober, he’s a good lad.”

After the commotion, he was hauled away amid a flurry of blue flashing lights.

It is just after 11pm on a Saturday night in Blackburn and unfortunately this is a familiar sight in every town, every single weekend.

As Blackburn town centre Sergeant Alan Clayton said: “Some people are just a timebomb.

"They drink and drink and drink and then want to punch someone.”

For the Consequences campaign, the Lancashire Telegraph spent a weekend in Burnley and Blackburn centres to see if perception matched the reality.

Figures for both town centres show violent crime is on the fall, but does that translate to the public actually feeling safe?

In Burnley, within five minutes of being inside The Sanctuary, a pool ball came flying my way.

However, it was a miscued shot rather than a sign of things to come.

The next bar we visited was Walkabout, inhabited by a large group of swaggering young men, full of beer, bravado and shooting moody glances in the direction of fellow drinkers.

But there was no physical violence on show and, as the police presence became more visible the later it became, we ventured to other nightspots.

On the way, we came across a potential flashpoint in Hargreaves Street with two groups in a heated exchange being quelled by police.

With fingers pointed and accusations firing back and forth, it is easy to see how things could escalate without a prompt police presence.

Inside the Old Red Lion, a mixed clientele created a more relaxed atmosphere.

It may be a generalisation to suggest spontaneous drunken violence is more likely amongst younger men, but I certainly felt more at ease and at less risk among older customers.

It was a similar story in the Big Window and further down Manchester Road in the JD Wetherspoon pub Brun Lea.

Back out on the streets, men and women began filtering towards the clubs and taxi ranks as the evening appeared to pass without major alarm.

Burnley town centre Sergeant Phil Carter said incidents and reports of crime at weekends had ‘dramatically reduced’ over the past year.

He said: “At 10.30pm on a weekend we have a street briefing and get the team out prior to people hitting the town en-masse.

“We put them in hot spots and then encourage them to liaise with the door staff, the licensees and the public.

“Early intervention is encouraged and we have a ‘direction to leave’ system where anyone we feel is drunk and likely to cause a problem can be ordered to leave the area and not return.”

Sgt Carter said Saturday nights were busier, with people coming from other East Lancashire towns and as far away as Bradford and Bury.

But thanks to the ‘Burnley Against Night-time Disorder scheme, information on troublemakers is shared among the landlords and police.

Back in Blackburn, it’s a cold Saturday night as we walk along Northgate to Live Lounge, which was the last club Adam Rogers and his friends were at on the night of his death.

Tonight, just after 11pm, town centre police have been called to Live Lounge to help doormen kick out four young lads in smart suits.

They had been to a wedding during the day and had been drinking in the town centre.

However one of their group had been abusive to staff at a pub and another then punched a doorman at Live Lounge before being thrown out.

Sergeant Andy Duxbury checks in on pubs and clubs to make sure they were sticking to their licences and officers patrol Blackburn’s nightime hotspots every weekend keeping the peace.

An hour earlier, Sgt Clayton arrested a man for being drunk and disorderly after a row with his girlfriend and doorstaff.

He was aggressive, swearing and refusing to get out of the road.

Then comes the man in the takeaway and just after midnight, an ambulance and police are called to Bar Ibiza in Mincing Lane.

Despite having a bloody nose and an eye injury, the man refused to co-operate with police and didn’t require further treatment.

This incident is perhaps a more familiar account to many weekend revellers than the story of Adam Rogers, but both are possible outcomes from the same single punch.

As Saturday night becomes Sunday morning, there are two more incidents of note.

Another disturbance in Darwen Street at 1.45am ends with a man being arrested for drunk and disorderly and then a flashpoint at Silverline Taxis at 4am ends amicably when the man threatening to beat people up calms down.

Sgt Alan Clayton said that although there were fewer people out at weekends, work with licensees through the BarU scheme and the town centre radio link meant they were hot on the heels of any potential troublemakers.

The police do a good job keeping on top of any flare-ups.

But you wonder just how bad the situation would be without the number of officers on the streets.

While I saw no major trouble, the charged atmosphere of drink-fuelled bravado would certainly prove uncomfortable for an older clientele to be around.

And, no matter the level of policing, as the death of Adam Rogers sadly showed, it can only take one punch to end a life.

Comments (11)

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3:51pm Thu 20 May 10

RAyzer says...

crimes down for ONE reason...less people going out,NOT because of the police....when its busy there NEVER there,so lets have less of the flannel!!!!the pubs in burnley are dead to what they were!
crimes down for ONE reason...less people going out,NOT because of the police....when its busy there NEVER there,so lets have less of the flannel!!!!the pubs in burnley are dead to what they were! RAyzer

3:58pm Thu 20 May 10

The offspring says...

Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people.
Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people. The offspring

4:26pm Thu 20 May 10

AnthonyUK says...

The offspring wrote:
Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people.
I don't think they would.
[quote][p][bold]The offspring[/bold] wrote: Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people.[/p][/quote]I don't think they would. AnthonyUK

6:04pm Thu 20 May 10

Lifeinthemix says...

The Telegraph is even using the term; 'Officers', which is sedition in helping the treasonous statute titles take over the real common law title constable.
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This is what we are up against here people.
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They speak as though the streets are seething with violence, they are when the police are out in force.
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The 1980's were extremely violent, yet the police would sit in the van and watch, they only got out if someone was getting hurt.
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What is the big deal over men fighting?
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the police are the most violent gang in the country, yet the media and plants on this forum continuously push the same garbage to programme those who read it to except this crap.
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Police officers have absolutely no power in this nation, only a police Constable can enforce common law to keep the peace.
.
Wake up people to the deception being played out here, and demand the police do that which they are mandated to do.
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Bullies do not stop bullying until they get a bloody nose, the police are the bullies, and the state wants them to get a bloody nose so they can expand the bullying.
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We have to stop this expanding police state before it turns to violence, and we do this first by understanding the real law in this country and use it against the false law, statutes.
The Telegraph is even using the term; 'Officers', which is sedition in helping the treasonous statute titles take over the real common law title constable. . This is what we are up against here people. . They speak as though the streets are seething with violence, they are when the police are out in force. . The 1980's were extremely violent, yet the police would sit in the van and watch, they only got out if someone was getting hurt. . What is the big deal over men fighting? . the police are the most violent gang in the country, yet the media and plants on this forum continuously push the same garbage to programme those who read it to except this crap. . Police officers have absolutely no power in this nation, only a police Constable can enforce common law to keep the peace. . Wake up people to the deception being played out here, and demand the police do that which they are mandated to do. . Bullies do not stop bullying until they get a bloody nose, the police are the bullies, and the state wants them to get a bloody nose so they can expand the bullying. . We have to stop this expanding police state before it turns to violence, and we do this first by understanding the real law in this country and use it against the false law, statutes. Lifeinthemix

6:08pm Thu 20 May 10

Lifeinthemix says...

what we need to do is arrange a weekend when everyone in each local town goes out so we can take back our town centres from this gang of bullies, we are the majority, the bullies are the minority.
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I can assure you the bullies would not even come out of their station....
what we need to do is arrange a weekend when everyone in each local town goes out so we can take back our town centres from this gang of bullies, we are the majority, the bullies are the minority. . I can assure you the bullies would not even come out of their station.... Lifeinthemix

7:19pm Thu 20 May 10

RAyzer says...

The offspring wrote:
Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people.
or how taxi drivers quote one price then another when they get there..,,then they call police!!!!
[quote][p][bold]The offspring[/bold] wrote: Maybe the Telegraph should go undercover and expose how the employees of take aways provoke people.[/p][/quote]or how taxi drivers quote one price then another when they get there..,,then they call police!!!! RAyzer

8:12am Fri 21 May 10

spyderleg says...

Lifeinthemix wrote:
what we need to do is arrange a weekend when everyone in each local town goes out so we can take back our town centres from this gang of bullies, we are the majority, the bullies are the minority. . I can assure you the bullies would not even come out of their station....
What you are doing is advocating anarchy, get a life you simpleton. Take the police off the streets and there would be a blood bath. I look forward to the day a crime is commited against you...let's see who you call on for help then. Go back to reading your little red book and smoking whatever it is you smoke!
[quote][p][bold]Lifeinthemix[/bold] wrote: what we need to do is arrange a weekend when everyone in each local town goes out so we can take back our town centres from this gang of bullies, we are the majority, the bullies are the minority. . I can assure you the bullies would not even come out of their station....[/p][/quote]What you are doing is advocating anarchy, get a life you simpleton. Take the police off the streets and there would be a blood bath. I look forward to the day a crime is commited against you...let's see who you call on for help then. Go back to reading your little red book and smoking whatever it is you smoke! spyderleg

10:17am Fri 21 May 10

bankhall says...

you've got to laugh when he calls himself a 'crime reporter ' lol still watch out now people because the football season has finished sand the plod will need to get their violence fix from somewhere
you've got to laugh when he calls himself a 'crime reporter ' lol still watch out now people because the football season has finished sand the plod will need to get their violence fix from somewhere bankhall

10:45am Fri 21 May 10

Lifeinthemix says...

bankhall, burnley says.
Very true, and we can better understand why they invented the premier league..... it took millions of people off the streets going to football matches, they don't like crowds the bullies, they like to pick people off one by one while the rest cower in their homes and do nothing.
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See Adolfo Hitler and his SS Getapo
bankhall, burnley says. Very true, and we can better understand why they invented the premier league..... it took millions of people off the streets going to football matches, they don't like crowds the bullies, they like to pick people off one by one while the rest cower in their homes and do nothing. . See Adolfo Hitler and his SS Getapo Lifeinthemix

1:54pm Mon 24 May 10

Ken Shuffles says...

They don't like the crowd, the thoughts, the feelings, the wisdom or the behaviour of the crowds they are not controling or enticing.
They don't like the crowd, the thoughts, the feelings, the wisdom or the behaviour of the crowds they are not controling or enticing. Ken Shuffles

5:07pm Tue 25 May 10

happycyclist says...

Calling the campaign "Every action has consequences campaign" is a bit ironic: If people knew there was a consequence of getting mindlessly drunk and being violent towards other people -ie the courts punished people properly instead of giving soft (or no) sentences- then perhaps there would be fewer victims as a consequence.
Calling the campaign "Every action has consequences campaign" is a bit ironic: If people knew there was a consequence of getting mindlessly drunk and being violent towards other people -ie the courts punished people properly instead of giving soft (or no) sentences- then perhaps there would be fewer victims as a consequence. happycyclist

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