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Three arrested in Blackpool during nighttime economy operation

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

On Friday 15th December 2023, Operation Night Guardian was carried out in Blackpool’s busy town centre.

Op Night Guardian, an initiative funded by the Home Office’s GRIP innovation fund, involves both uniformed and specially trained plain-clothed patrols in busy town centres. It aims to protect people by identifying those who may be displaying signs of concerning behaviour.

The operation also offers a range of practical measures used to help prevent and detect spiking offences with drink toppers and spiking test kits available in some licenced premises, which officers hope will further help to deter offences.

A search dog was used throughout the operation to identify those carrying drugs within licensed premises, along with specialist licensing departments who were also in attendance to ensure compliance. 

During the operation,

  • A 21-year-old man from Staffordshire was arrested on suspicion of Drunk and Disorderly behaviour. He has since been given a caution.

  • A 23-year-old man from Blackpool, was arrested on suspicion of Drunk and Disorderly behaviour and has received a Penalty Notice for Disorder.

  • A 25-year-old man from Blackpool, was arrested on suspicion of Dangerous Driving. He has since been released under investigation.

Officers also conducted 11 stop searches after indications by the drugs dog, with three people being found in possession of Class A drugs. The drugs were confiscated, and warnings given.

Sergeant Dan Whitaker, from Lancashire’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN), said: “We have had lots support from the public and licensees who overwhelmingly support this initiative, and understand why we do it.

“We know most people visiting our licenced premises just want to enjoy a good night out. However, our message is clear. For anyone intent on causing harm, we are proactively targeting inappropriate behaviour and raising the risk of you being caught.”

Cllr Paula Burdess, Cabinet Member with responsibility for community safety said: “It is great to see Blackpool so busy with locals and visitors enjoying a festive night out.

“Our priority is to ensure that everyone can enjoy themselves in a safe environment and that those who work in the night-time economy are also well protected.

“We have shown our support for Operation Night Guardian by funding a drugs dog handler to assist in detecting and preventing crimes.”