Thursday, 2 January 2014

A quiet New Year in Bradford.


I don't know how many people were out partying on New Year's Eve in Bradford. I'm guessing at a figure around 50,000 ( a bit less that 20% of the District's grown up population) heading for assorted hostelries, house parties and restaurants for a fine old night.

So all these people were out having a good time, drinking more than they're told they should drink (and for some more than is wise) and staying up a good deal later than they would normally on a Wednesday evening. A recipe for disaster, the cue for a crime surge? It seems not:

The Bradford South division received 286 calls in the 24-hour period from 7am on New Year’s Eve to 7am yesterday.

The busiest period was the eight hours between 10pm and 6am, as the police dealt with 49 emergencies, 24 priority incidents and a further 65 standard incidents. 

So those party-goers generated fewer than 150 'incidents' in Bradford South (half of the District and including the City Centre) most of which are described as "domestic incidents or breaches of the peace". This really isn't something to merit the sort of soul-searching let alone this sort of headline:

Police cells in Bradford were full to bursting early yesterday as officers dealt with double the usual number of calls during the New Year celebrations. 

You would be excused for believing that "double the usual number of calls" was a comparison with a previous New Year's Eve - but it would appear not. Across West Yorkshire there were about 1,500 calls - 50 more than for New Year's Eve 2012. We don't know what the doubling refers too - perhaps it's a regular Wednesday evening?

What we should be saying is that tens of thousands head out for a good night. And despite the devout wishes of the nannies and puritans, a good night is precisely what those people had - food, drink, music, dancing and party poppers (unless these have been banned as dangerous explosives). There were a handful of arrests - 180 across the whole of West Yorkshire (population 2 million plus) - most for "drunkenness, public disorder and minor injury assaults".

The headline should read "a quiet New Year in Bradford" surely?


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