POLICE are bracing themselves as thousands of revellers are poised to descend on Wrexham for an open-air drinking party.
More than 4,500 people have now posted messages on a social networking site to say they are planning to join the mass binge tomorrow night.
Police have been holding special meetings to plan for possible disorder and are drafting in extra officers to deter yobs.
Arrangements for the party have been going on through a Facebook group for more than a month.
Although thousands have said they will be there, organisers have been careful not to reveal exactly where the event will take place so police do not have the chance to break it up in advance.
But a police chief told the Leader he expected it would be held on one of the town’s larger parks.
Inspector Alex Goss, who is in charge of policing the town centre, said: “We will be having extra people on duty on Friday, including officers, specials and PCSOs.
“For operational reasons I would not like to say exactly how many.
“We will be keeping a close eye on what is going on and we will be particularly on the lookout for anti-social behaviour and underage drinking.
“We want people to have a good time and not spoil things by causing trouble.”
Insp Goss said he did not yet know where the party would be held but ruled out areas such as the green in front of the Guildhall or anywhere else scanned by CCTV cameras.
He added: “My guess is that it will be somewhere like Acton Park or maybe even Bellevue Park.”
Insp Goss pointed out that most of the central area of the town was now covered by an exclusion zone for the consumption of alcohol, which means officers would have the power to ask people to stop drinking if they were causing a nuisance.
North Wales Police recently posted its own message on Facebook aimed at organisers and those planning to attend the Wrexham party.
This pointed out that the force had not received any official notification of the event and had therefore not been able to talk to anyone about helping or supporting the normal safeguards for official large-scale gatherings.
This, police warned, meant the party could pose ‘an increased safety risk’ to anyone attending.
It added: “It is worth reminding people that there is legislation to deal with certain types of events and that incidents of crime or disorder could result in arrests and criminal charges.
“North Wales Police would also like to remind people of the importance of personal responsibility around the issue of alcohol consumption.”
Insp Goss said this plea for co-operation had gone unheeded, although organisers on the site have urged attendees to remain peaceful.
See full story in the Leader