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House party gate-crashed by 100 people - and 999 calls in Cambridgeshire shoot up 30%, prompting warnings for ‘Freedom Weekend’

Cambridgeshire police issued a warning over personal responsibility ahead of the first weekend since coronavirus legal restrictions were lifted.

The warning for the so-called ‘Freedom Weekend’ came after a house party in East Cambridgeshire was gate-crashed by more than 100 people, after news of it was posted online.

A stock image of a house party (49507302)
A stock image of a house party (49507302)

Police attended, following reports of violence, and two officers were punched in the face while dealing with the incident last weekend.

Then in the early hours of Wednesday (July 21), a man was kicked in the head and knocked unconscious in Cambridge’s market square, as we have reported. Five arrests have been made following that incident.

Cambridgeshire police said the force had received 9,329 emergency 999 calls, a 30 per cent increase compared on the same period last year (7,195) and seven per cent up on the same time period last month (8,694).

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “While we appreciate the restrictions were in place for a long time and some people are keen to enjoy the new ‘freedoms’, we ask that people do so sensibly and with consideration for those around them. This weekend more than ever is about taking personal responsibility.

“Demand for our services is at an all-time high and a lot of those calls could be avoided if people were to enjoy themselves in moderation.

“Calls as a consequence of excessive drinking are completely avoidable and can delay us from getting to those truly in need of our help so please, by all means enjoy yourselves, but do so sensibly.

“I’m sure people are fed up of hearing this now but the virus hasn’t suddenly gone away and everyone still has a part to play in easing the pressure on our health service.

Chief Constable Nick Dean. Picture: Cambridgeshire police (49440271)
Chief Constable Nick Dean. Picture: Cambridgeshire police (49440271)

“We will continue to wear masks and adhere to personal hygiene guidance when dealing with the public and in our stations to help keep each other safe.

"Just because it is no longer the law, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't do the right thing and continue to follow the guidance we are all used to.

“We anticipate demand for our services will be high this weekend as restrictions are lifted but I hope people prove us wrong by doing the right thing. Enjoy yourself in a safe and sensible way and allow us to concentrate our resources on dealing with issues the public would expect us to be dealing with.

“This in turn will free up resources in our health service and help our ongoing fight against this virus.”

Police advised that while you should always dial 999 in an emergency, for non-emergencies the force’s website has a wealth of information and advice available, along with online forms for reporting crime and intelligence.

Those who are pressed for time, hard of hearing or can’t talk freely can visit the dedicated web chat page or click the green button in the bottom right corner of any page on the force’s website to start a chat with a specialist operator.

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