Trouble-free Prom display after brawl

Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night
Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night

Extra police officers patrolled the streets of Blackpool after the latest fireworks display following a mass brawl that marred the opening night.

The increased presence ensured there was no repeat on Friday of the previous week’s disorder during the World Fireworks Championships, police say.

Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night

Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night

On that occasion, dozens of youths were involved in widespread disorder that led to two arrests and accusations of heavy-handed policing

No arrest were made this Friday, following the Austrian fireworks display.

But police today blamed the trouble on September 1 on a “small minority” intent on causing trouble.

Insp James Martin, of Blackpool Police,(pictured) said the additional officers on and around Bank Hey Street had been a success and would be repeated for the remaining fireworks displays.

He said large numbers of youths had once again attended the event and gathered in the town centre afterwards.

He added: “This meant that there was a large body of youths moving about, but all was very good natured, no arrests were made, and there were no reports of assaults and no disorder.

“We put in place an enhanced visibility plan, which will now be replicated over the next few weeks, but it is my opinion that last week a small minority, intent on causing trouble, ruined an enjoyable evening in Blackpool.

“There will be some local inputs to local schools this week to reinforce the message of a safe Blackpool.”

After the opening fireworks display, videos emerged on social media that appeared to show police arresting a 15-year-old boy during the disturbance.

The video, which was widely shared on Facebook, prompted criticism of the police response.

But one witness to the disturbance agreed with Insp Martin that a small group of youths were to blame.

The woman, who asked not to be named, told The Gazette: “It was like a riot.

“We didn’t see the arrests but we saw (the youths) goading the police something rotten.

“The police tried their hardest to disperse the crowd for over half an hour.

“We were there and we had children with us – we couldn’t move.

“Some of them were asking for it. All of them, in my opinion, should have been arrested.

“The police had their hands full and did what they could.”