Yobs spoil Furry Night fun

PUBLISHED: 12:28 16 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 10 June 2010

as a former resident of Lympstone, it has been a long time since I have attended the annual Furry Dance, which was always a fun and lively event for all ages, both villagers and visitors. Sadly, this year's event was marred by drunken yob behaviour towar

as a former resident of Lympstone, it has been a long time since I have attended the annual Furry Dance, which was always a fun and lively event for all ages, both villagers and visitors. Sadly, this year's event was marred by drunken yob behaviour towards the end of the evening, which leads me to severely question the role of the police, in the protection of the innocent public, and the prosecution of those who choose to act outside the law.Late afternoon on Saturday, I caught the train to Lympstone, as I knew I would be drinking. I noticed, as I left the train at Lympstone Station, that quite a few groups of teenagers on the train were carrying obvious bags of alcohol, which they carried off into the village. I made my way to the Swan Inn which, even at the early part of the evening, was busy with a mix of people all enjoying a drink and awaiting the revelry to begin. As the evening progressed, the dance began and it was great to see that many people had dressed up to take part and the village was buzzing. During the time it took the dancers to get to the top of the village, we were entertained by a jazz group at The Swan and the bar was very busy. However, I noticed no one getting drunk or rowdy or violent and the atmosphere was great. Once the dancers returned to the bottom of the village and the firework display was finished, the patrons of The Swan were still relaxed and enjoying the atmosphere. However, I saw several police officers run through the village and return shortly afterwards with a youth. Then, a short while later, a crowd of teenagers, male and female, came round the corner and several were engaged in trying to punch each other's lights out. I recognised several of them to be those with the bags of booze on the train. By this time more police officers were on the scene, complete with the obligatory "Paddy Wagon", and several small skirmishes were taking place. Not once during this fracas did I see anyone from the crowds in The Swan leap into the fray or behave in the pathetic way of the protagonists in the street. Therefore, to my amazement, the staff from The Swan came out and informed us the police had told the landlord to "call time and close the pub". We were forced to finish our evening early and go home, due to the behaviour of a tiny minority who, as far as I could see, had neither been served alcohol or purchased it within The Swan. Yet we, the innocent, had our evening ended by the police's apparent inability to arrest, detain and deal with those causing the problem. It seems that nowadays this style of "punish the innocent policing" is becoming the norm. Only recently, we had the proposed closure of Exmouth's Queens Drive - because the police were unable to deal with the boyracers.Mr Ian Woolger,16 Otter Court,Budleigh Salterton

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