Extra police for Black Eye Friday

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There will be extra police patrols in Whitby tonight as Christmas revellers are expected to hit the town for what is known as ‘Black Eyed Friday’.

It is tradition for people to go out drinking on the last Friday before Christmas and Whitby’s police inspector, Andy Colbourne is asking people to “enjoy their night out” but be mindful of others.

He also warned that people getting arrested that night for drinking related and public order offences faced being in cells over the entire weekend until a Monday morning court appearance.

Although last year there was not a huge amount of reported trouble he said the town’s policing teams were prepared.

He said: “We probably had a few for drunk and disorderly but generally speaking it is quite steady to be fair but we have additional resources in place to combat anything like that.

“Go out and enjoy yourselves but be mindful of what you are doing, keep it spirited and don’t end up in the cells.”

Incidents of public order in the town - such as fighting, affray and breach of the peace - have increased this year compared to last year and Insp Colbourne attributes it to “pre-loading” where people drink at home first before going out because it is cheaper.

There will also be more spot checks being made against drivers at this time of year under Operation Attention.

He said: “Generally speaking this is when we are more proactive. People are going to parties so have a nominated driver or get a taxi and be mindful of the next morning. People think it is out of their system but if you don’t feel up to driving - just don’t do it.”