Rise in 999 calls as police deal with New Year’s Eve trouble

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POLICE say 999 calls about assaults, noise and domestic disputes shot up as the New Year parties got into full swing.

Hampshire Police said there was a marked increase in the number of calls in the hours leading up to and after midnight yesterday.

Across the county, the force was called to a total of 1,728 incidents over 24 hours.

That compares to 1,280 call-outs the day before New Year’s Eve.

Between the hours of midnight and 5am yesterday, police were called to 784 incidents.

In the same time frame the day before, they were called to 236 incidents.

But officers said the statistics were nothing out-of-the-ordinary for a New Year’s Eve.

Dick Atkin, supervisor at Hampshire Constabulary’s control room, said: ‘It was mainly domestic incidents, assaults, noise, burglaries and that sort of thing.

‘It was a mix right across the board.

‘There was a fair amount of public disorder.

‘It’s common when people are out partying and you tend to get more reports.

‘It’s to be expected.

‘It’s just New Year’s Eve.’

There were a number of arrests, but police could not confirm the exact number yesterday.

Among the more significant incidents was a major search in Gosport for a missing woman at about 1.15am yesterday.

There were reports of a missing 39-year-old woman and the coastguard helicopter was deployed to search the shoreline.

A coastguard spokesman said: ‘We had quite an extensive search but she was found safe and well at home in the end.’

In Leigh Park, there were two fires started by arsonists in the hours after midnight.

At 12.09am a van went up in flames in Blendworth Crescent.

Firefighters from Havant went to the scene and put out the fire, which severely damaged most of the van.

At 1.45am a bin shed was set alight in Swanmore Road.

Police said they were able to cope with the extra volume of calls as more staff were laid on.

Mr Atkin added: ‘There were extra officers on duty and extra staff in the control room, but in busy periods, that’s standard practice.’

Police are investigating the arson attacks in Leigh Park.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.