Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Bleak Friday 'quiet', say police

Christmas party-goers
'Bleak Friday' went without major incident, say police

Police made fewer arrests on what they had dubbed "Bleak Friday" than on the start of a normal weekend.

Emergency services had said they were gearing up for one of the busiest party nights of the year.

But South Wales Police reported 20% fewer arrests than a normal Friday evening in Cardiff.

Dyfed-Powys Police dealt with no major incidents while Gwent Police and North Wales Police said the evening was no busier than expected.

An estimated 300,000 shoppers and party-goers were expected through Cardiff city centre alone on the last Friday before Christmas.

Initiatives in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, and Rhyl included mobile first aid units, taxis marshals and "street pastors" or "angels" to help people.

South Wales Police Chief Superintendent Josh Jones, divisional commander for Cardiff said: "Traditionally 'bleak Friday' is a very busy night for us and we have spent considerable time this week urging people to think about their plans and not to do anything that may make themselves vulnerable.

"I am delighted to find that people did just that. Although the city centre was busy, it was a lot quieter in terms of arrests, than it normally is on a Friday night.

Police cell

"I would, however, like to reiterate our advice for the rest of the festive period and over New Year.

"Cardiff is a great place to celebrate, come into the city and enjoy it. Just take a short time to consider your plans to get home safely."

South Wales Police is running a campaign to cut alcohol-related violence.

As part of the force's alcohol-related violence campaign bars and nightclubs in Cardiff and Swansea are displaying mirror stickers which place partygoers behind bars or in a police cell with the warning "Instant Regret - Just add alcohol".

Organised groups of street "pastors" or "angels" were out in Newport, Swansea and Rhyl.

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