TAXI marshals will help late-night revellers get home safely as part of a Christmas crime prevention drive in Accrington.

The high-profile staff will be on hand at the taxi rank, in Holmes Street, in the town centre, between 11.30pm and 5am on key dates throughout the festive period.

Police are working with Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership and St John Ambulance in the scheme.

There will be highly-visible patrols across the town over the festive period, and officers will be working alongside local licensees carrying out a range of activities, including test purchase operations in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder.

Police and Hyndburn Council’s licensing team have also launched an operation to clamp down on illegal taxis, particularly those operating without insurance.

On Friday, three drivers were prosecuted for driving with no insurance while plying for hire.

Revellers are advised to get a taxi from the rank in Holmes Street, or book a private hire taxi through one of the firms.

Inspector Catherine Platt said: “The taxi marshals will be easily identifiable, offering reassurance to people who want to get home safely after a night out.

“Members of staff from St John Ambulance will be there on key dates to offer first aid, and assess more serious injuries before an ambulance is called.

“There will be a number of additional police officers on duty over the festive period, and we will be working closely with the council, licensees, and door staff, to make sure our towns remain safe for everyone this Christmas.

“We want people to enjoy themselves, but not at the expense of others, or their own personal safety.

“I urge people to seriously consider how much they are drinking, and what impact it may have on those around them.”

Coun Pam Barton said: “We want people to have a great night out and keep safe in Accrington this Christmas and this scheme, which involves the police, taxi marshals, and St John Ambulance, helps make sure they get home safely too.”