MORE than 10,000 revellers are expected to party in Wrexham on Friday.
North Wales Police are bracing themselves for ‘Mad Friday’ – the last Friday for celebrations before Christmas Day which traditionally leads to an upsurge in drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.
Town centre Inspector Mark Williams said the force is well prepared.
He said: “We want people to have a good time and do it responsibly.
“We have additional resources in place. There could be more than 10,000 revellers in the town centre.
“If someone behaves like an idiot then they can expect to be dealt with accordingly.”
Emergency crews have prepared for the six most popular nights to celebrate over the festive period – the first one took place on Thursday, December 13.
Insp Williams added: “People’s behaviour was generally good.”
Insp Williams is urging revellers to plan ahead on issues like how to get home and with who, to help them stay safe.
Alex Jones is chairman of the organisation Night Safe – a partnership group including door staff, licensees the police and council which works to promote safety.
He said the emphasis for everyone involved in the night-time economy is providing an enjoyable and secure environment for people.
“This is not Mad Friday as in troublemaking. It is Mad Friday as in very busy. The town usually starts to fill up around 6pm or 7pm.
“It is a British tradition. Things have changed over the years because of working arrangements in industry. Years ago, the factories would close early on the Friday before Christmas and people would go to the pubs.
“That doesn’t happen as much now, but obviously it is still a busy day. In Wrexham, there are partnerships in place to keep troublemakers out.”
Dave Hatton, owner of taxi firm Town Cars in King Street, said he was expecting a big demand.
“Our customers have been telling us there will be a lot of work parties taking place on Friday. I will have a full crew working. The way people are talking it is going to be really busy.”
Tony Ling, manager of the Eastern Sheraton Chinese restaurant in High Street, said the trade generated on the last Friday before Christmas was good for businesses in the town.
“I think there will be a lot of custom, it is usually very busy then. It provides a boost for Wrexham’s economy. It is good to see people enjoying themselves.”
The Wrexham Community Safety Partnership has paid £2,000 via the Substance Misuse Action Team for a rapid response vehicle and at least one paramedic on duty in the town centre.
A pop-up help point in Brook Street has proved to be well used.
Speaking to the Leader last week, Rhian Jones, who is leading the Think Safe, Drink Safe campaign by Wrexham Community Safety Partnership, said: “The paramedic can treat people for minor injuries and call for an ambulance if need be.
Hopefully, this will lessen the burden on the accident and emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
“Police officers will also be strategically placed around town so they can respond quickly, and prevent incidents from escalating.”
“We have analysed the footfall figures from previous years and predict that six nights will be the busiest.”
The police will also be out in force on Saturday, December 22; Monday, December 24; Wednesday, December 26 and Monday, December 31.
See full story in the Leader