ALTHOUGH organisers and visitors judged last Saturday’s Mayfield Bonfire a huge success, the latter part of the evening was marred by minor incidents of drunkenness, theft and assault.
Wealden police say they seized more than 800 containers of alcohol from young people. Three thefts and three minor assaults were reported along with the distressingly high figure of ten drunk children who had to be attended by St John Ambulance helpers. The incidents all occurred in and around the fair.
A police spokesman said the bonfire procession itself was well organised and no trouble was reported. He added: “The organisers worked tirelessly with us to deliver an excellent procession.”
Twenty-six officers from the Wealden neighbourhood policing team were at the event. At times all of them were needed at the fair due to the high volume of people congregating. Police explained the consumption of alcohol in confined areas can cause issues which in turn make policing difficult.
Inspector Tony Wakefield of the neighbourhood policing team said: “My officers seized an astounding amount of alcohol on the night with a significant amount of this being spirits. I am sure these actions went some way to reducing crime and disorder on the night. It’s a shame that a village family event was disrupted by crime and disorder that can be directly attributed to people attending the fair and not the bonfire procession.”
“We would like to thank the Bonfire Society for the excellent management of the procession in Mayfield. St John Ambulance were an immense help in assisting us with the drunk teenagers. East Sussex Fire and Rescue service were also at the event offering help and support when required.”