Police break up 'drink and sex' Purim party

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 25, 2011

Three hundred young Purim revellers in Manchester were moved on by police for drinking, dangerous driving and what was described as "explicit behaviour" on the front lawn of a yeshivah.

Jewish teenagers mainly from the Prestwich, Whitefield and south Manchester areas, descended on the Broughton Park area of north Manchester on Saturday night, prompted by a Facebook alert.

The night passed without major incident and spirits were generally good, but police officers had been asked to patrol the area by residents who feared a repeat of an incident last year.

Then, ambulances were called to treat two girls who were taken to hospital with serious alcohol poisoning. Hundreds of youths had spent the night in the unlit Clowes Park.

A member of the strictly Orthodox Broughton Park Citizens' Patrol, a local community group, said problems had come from youth from outside the area.

Teenagers were involved in ‘sexual activity’

The patrol had co-ordinated its sec rity operation with police this year following safety concerns for youngsters and in order to reduce rowdy behaviour. "Last year a girl was left in a serious condition. There was concern after we heard that a Facebook page said young people were having a rave in the park this year," he said.

"The community was also upset this year because teenagers were involved in sexual activity on the grass outside the Shaarei Torah yeshivah."

Community members had raised £500 to hire private security guards to ensure youngster were unable to access Clowes Park.

Police Sergeant Mark Coulson said Saturday night had passed off quietly, although alcohol was taken away from youths breaking a bylaw prohibiting drinking in the street.

But he said community leaders needed to help create more formalised activities for young people for the night in future.

"There were a few issues with cars being driven dangerously and people perching on their bonnets.

"The celebrations generally went well and everyone was happy with the police presence. But groups shouldn't be allowed to gather at particular points. If we hadn't been there, there could rapidly have been bigger problems."

Last updated: 10:06am, March 25 2011