Just 16 arrests made in the area as thousands celebrate the New Year safely

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Only 16 arrests were made by police in North and West Devon on New Year’s Eve.

Between 6pm on December 31 and 6am on January 1, police dealt with a lower-than-average 69 incidents when compared to previous years.

Many of the arrests related to low-level public disorder offences, and North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett hailed the low number of serious incidents as ‘particularly pleasing’.

12 of the arrests were made in Bideford, where a crowd of around 5,000 people saw in the New Year on the Quay, three were in Barnstaple, where 3,000 people watched the fireworks, two were in Braunton and one was in Ilfracombe.

There were no arrests in Torrington, Holsworthy, Lynton or South Molton, where one incident of assault was reported.

Local Area Commander for North and West Devon Superintendent Michele Slevin said: “Having experienced the event first hand out on patrol throughout New Year and into the early hours, it was pleasing to receive positive comments and have the support of the public regarding our policing operation.

“These stats show that we were able to support the vast majority of public to celebrate the festivities safely.”

Torridge Sector Inspector Andy Brock, who was on foot patrol throughout in Bideford, said: “Building on the success of 2012’s New Years Eve celebration for Bideford we started planning 2013 with the Town & District councils, Local business and Safer North Devon in February with a further two follow up meetings prior to the 31st.

“I was really impressed by the good nature of those attending and the excellent contribution of those involved, from the door staff at the pubs and clubs to the Street Pastors armed with lollipops and a caring ear, all assisted in making this another memorable occasion in Bideford’s recent History and a positive show of what Bideford can do.”

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