Celebrations, but a quiet night for police

PEACE in our time that was the message from Sidmouth police station following a crime-free New Year.

PEACE in our time - that was the message from Sidmouth police station following a crime-free New Year. Sergeant Andy Turner and neighbourhood beat manager PC Steve Lemon were among the officers on duty on Monday evening and received just one call, to the Radway pub where a woman had collapsed. The woman was taken to hospital at 11.23pm by an ambulance. Sgt Turner said: "It was an extremely quiet night for Sidmouth. Last year, we had a quiet night as well and we went out and proactively targeted the underage drinkers. "This year, we found no evidence of underage drinkers whatsoever. We even had a comment from a parent who stated that most children knew that we would be out on New Year's Eve and decided to remain indoors. "Most of the pubs in town had a quiet evening, free of trouble, and we'd like to praise the licensees for the efforts taken to ensure New Year's Eve passed off without incident. The streets were particularly quiet and the only people we saw were the ones outside having a cigarette." Members of the Sidmouth neighbourhood team went across to Ottery St Mary to help their patrol colleagues with underage drinkers. Sgt Turner said: "A large amount of alcohol was seized from underage drinkers. There were large groups of kids on the streets and we seized a large amount of alcohol and poured it down the drain, and Ottery ended up having a quiet night as well." Although it was all quiet on the police front, Sidmothians still managed to party the night away and celebrate the arrival of 2008. One reveller on the seafront was determined to make a splash of her New Year celebrations. Once the midnight hour had struck, she stripped off by York Steps to take a very quick skinny dip in the sea. "It's a great way to see in the New Year," she said as friends wrapped a coat around her. "But I wouldn't recommend it for everyone!" Town centre pubs had a busy party night with staff at The Swan in celebratory fancy dress mode, not least licensee Adrian 'Popeye' Ricketts, pictured above left with Julia 'Olive Oil' Hunt, and Chris 'Captain America' Kerry with Rachel 'Sixties hippie' Exton.

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