Town centre a blooodbath as police face stag night chaos

PUBLISHED: 06:27 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 May 2010

STAG night revellers ran riot in Weston last weekend, turning a town centre street into a late night battleground

STAG night revellers ran riot in Weston last weekend, turning a town centre street into a late night battleground. Weston & Somerset Mercury reporter Charlotte Richardson witnessed the violent clashes, which broke out in Regent Street just before 11pm on Saturday (July 22).She said: "Gangs of young men were hurling themselves at each other and at the police. Injured people were lying half-unconscious on the pavements and a doorman had blood pouring from his face."Police sirens filled the air, as did the barking of the police dogs brought in to try and control the situation."Extra officers had to be drafted in from Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea because the incident, involving a stag party of 50 men from Wales, had got so out of hand.Inspector Andy Manhire, who was in charge in the town centre on the night, said: "It was one of the most extreme nights in Weston for a number of years. It was mayhem."We had to draft in more officers from the North Somerset area. I had to use all the resources at my disposal, leaving a skeleton of officers elsewhere."The first major incident that the police had to deal with involved a stag party of 20 from Birmingham fighting in Beach Road. Just as officers had started to bring the situation under control and arrested one person for a public order offence, they were called to Regent Street to deal with the other larger stag party. When police turned up they had to use their metal batons to control the mob and an extra police dog had to be called in from Clevedon because officers couldn't contain the situation. A police officer was injured in the fracas and up to six other people were taken to hospital with facial injuries.Four people were arrested on public order and assault allegations and police hope to make further arrests in connection with the incidents. An arrest was also made at a Weston hotel at 5.30am on Sunday (July 23) in connection with the incident in Beach Road. The stag party had checked into the hotel saying they were on a golfing break.Inspector Manhire said: "We would appeal to the hotel community to make rigorous checks on group bookings because one hotel has already been duped."Police this week announced they are stepping up high profile, late night patrols in Weston.Officers based in Weston will be supported by the dog unit, mounted police and special constables each weekend until the end of August.Head of police operations in North Somerset, Superintendent Julian Moss, said: "We know it is often only a small minority who cause problems for the vast majority who simply want to enjoy the attractions of Weston. This is not something we are prepared to tolerate.

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