We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Police in high-demand on busy New Year's Eve


Police and ambulance services across the country were in high demand on New Year's Eve dealing with a string of incidents as revellers saw in the start of the Olympic year.

Scotland Yard had 3,000 officers on duty, both at street level and on podiums in London, to give them a bird's-eye view of any troublemakers in the crowds.

The force said the total number of arrests for the night was 77, mainly for assault and drunk and disorderly offences.

Meanwhile, the London Ambulance Service said it experienced a busy night, receiving calls peaking at 600 an hour - the average is usually 180 calls an hour on a normal night.

During the night paramedics treated 274 patients, taking 55 of them to hospital.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) dealt with more than six emergency calls a minute in the early hours of the new year.

From midnight on New Year's Eve to 6am on New Year's Day, the service received 2,244 emergency calls, the organisation said.

Emergency calls included 14 stabbings in Greater Manchester, ten stabbings in Merseyside and Cheshire, and six in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Norfolk Police are investigating an unexplained death following an incident outside a pub in the early hours in the village of Toft Monks.

Officers were called to Mardle Road at 3.15am following reports of a disturbance outside the White Lion public house.

A man in his 20s was taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Great Yarmouth but died later.

Two men aged 38 and 45 have been arrested in connection with the incident and remain in custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre, Norfolk, a spokesman said.

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of a man who was fatally injured at a New Year's Eve party in Bedfordshire.

The 42-year-old man, who has not been identified, was assaulted at a party being held at his partner's house in Helmsley Close, in Hockwell Ring, Luton, in the early hours.

Police and an ambulance were called to the property just after 3am but the victim could not be saved and died a short time later of his injuries.

Detectives from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit have arrested a teenage girl and boy on suspicion of being concerned in the death, a force spokeswoman said.

A woman is being treated in hospital after being stabbed in the back with a knife on Priors Road in Cheltenham just before the turn of the new year, Gloucestershire Police said.

Police said two women were arrested after the 27-year-old was attacked in the street at 11.50pm.

The victim, who was known to the women arrested, was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital.

Thames Valley Police said a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer who was pinned against his patrol car by a reversing vehicle in the early hours.

At 2.24am this morning, officers were called to High Street in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, after reports that a taxi driver had been forced out of his vehicle, a black Volkswagen Passat, by a group of two men and two women, who then drove the vehicle away from the scene.

A police spokesman said: “Officers attended and spoke with the victim and then carried out a search for the stolen vehicle.

”At 3.11am officers discovered the stolen vehicle in Hodge Lea Lane in the Hodge Lea area of Milton Keynes.

“Officers got out of their vehicle to inspect the car, when it has reversed unexpectedly and pinned one of the officers to their patrol car, before leaving the scene.

”The vehicle was recovered shortly afterwards in Grangers Croft.

“The injured officer was taken to Milton Keynes General Hospital for treatment to his injuries where he remains at this time in a stable condition.”

South Yorkshire Police launched a murder investigation following the death of a man during an incident at the Stars and Mayfair Party Suites, in Sheffield, in the early hours.

Officers were called to the venue on Queen's Road, about a mile from the city centre, at 2.47am.

A spokesman said: “Officers understand a confrontation led to a man being assaulted, sustaining injuries from which he died.

”The investigation is in its very early stages with inquiries at the scene likely to continue throughout today.“

A man in his 20s remains in custody at a north London police station after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering a 22-year-old, Scotland Yard said.

The victim, named locally as Aaron, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in Clerkenwell and was pronounced dead just after 5am.