Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

On the Late Night Beat

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

On the Late Night Beat

Article excerpt

It's a softly, softly start to a drinking revolution

TEESSIDE has just weathered its first weekend under the new late licence laws, and while 24 hour drinking is not yet a reality locally, a number of licensed premises did stay open past 2am.

Gazette reporter WILL SUTTON joined Cleveland Police officers as they tackled the fall out in Middlesbrough town centre on Friday night, Saturday morning.

WALKING down Albert Road I see one lad stumbling like a zombie with kebab and lettuce dripping from his face.

Near Walkabout Bar another teenager grabs his girlfriend and runs across the road, nearly clipping a taxi as it speeds by.

But the most surreal moment is when I find a woman's outfit lying in the street; a skirt, a top and a pair of shoes that somebody must be missing in the icy weather.

The night time streets of Middlesbrough look different when you're sober and I am seeing it through the eyes of police officers from Operation Impact.

They are the 14 police men and women who bear the brunt of the binge drinking in the town centre.

I joined Sergeant Helen Barker to find out what a typical night in Middlesbrough was like and whether extended drinking hours will make their lives more difficult.

Sgt Barker says: "The nights can vary from a couple of arrests to double figures. The officers will work till they are no longer needed and the streets are clear."

At midnight our van gets waved down outside the Dickens Inn where a man has been told to leave by bouncers.

Sgt Barker and other officers get out to speak to him but as they do so another woman involved in the argument comes out of the pub and uses her shoe to smash a nearby car windscreen!

The man is told to go home while the woman is arrested and taken to Middlesbrough station.

Only 40 minutes later the team is called to Chicago Rock where a man has had a tooth knocked out after an attack. …

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