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Black-eye Friday: Police urge party-goers to stay safe

Stay safe during Black-eye Friday
Stay safe during Black-eye Friday

Police are urging people who are out on the town in South Tyneside to stay safe tonight.

The Friday before Christmas – known as “Black-eye Friday” – is traditionally a busy night for the borough’s bars and clubs.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt

Police chiefs are reminding people to drink responsibly.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt said: “Traditionally the last Friday before Christmas is a busy night and we expect bars and clubs across South Tyneside to be busy. Officers will be carrying out regular patrols in busy areas to ensure everyone has a good night.

“When people have had too much to drink they react differently, even if ordinarily they would stay out of trouble.

“What we don’t want is for people to become involved in disorder that gets out of control and could potentially see them arrested.

Officers will be carrying out regular patrols in busy areas to ensure everyone has a good night.

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt

“Likewise we don’t want people to make themselves vulnerable by having too much to drink. While door supervisors and security staff have been trained to help people, it is important that party-goers keep themselves and their friends safe.”

Last year, the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) dispatched 3,506 ambulances over the Black-eye Friday weekend, compared with 3,280 the previous weekend.

Lynn Pyburn, NEAS assistant contact centre manager, said: “Someone who is suffering the effects of drugs or alcohol can divert our resources away from genuinely sick people.

“For every inappropriate call we receive, there’s someone genuinely ill waiting.

“Please think before you pick up the phone. Do you really need an ambulance or is there another way of you getting help?

“We are not a taxi service and arriving at hospital in an ambulance doesn’t automatically mean you get to jump the queue at A&E.”

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves over the festive period, but we also want people to stay safe. Over the Christmas period it’s easy to overdo it where alcohol is concerned, but drinking too much brings very serious risks.

“Not only can excessive drinking spoil the festivities for the people involved and their families, it also puts a huge strain on our emergency services.

“By drinking sensibly, everyone can play their part in helping to reduce the burden.”