First published Thursday 6 November 2014 in The Argus
About 40,000 people made their way to Lewes last night for yet another memorable bonfire night.
Visitor numbers were up 10,000 compared to last year for the 409th anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot.
Police, fire and ambulance crews worked through the evening to ensure the spectacle was enjoyed safely. Ten people were arrested for offences which included being drunk and disorderly and anti-social behaviour while paramedics treated 49 people for injuries, with just six needing hospital treatment.
Superintendent Laurence Taylor, of Sussex Police, said: “Despite November 5 falling midweek, the substantial turnout by spectators underlined its continuing popularity.
“At public events of this size there is always the potential for incidents of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.
“The policing of this event involves months of preparation, planning and consultation with the bonfire societies, the other emergency services and partners, with the main aim being to provide a safe environment for both participants and spectators alike.
“Around 22,000 people travelled into Lewes by train and officers from both British Transport Police and Sussex Police were on hand to help manage the crowds and minimise the risk of personal injury and damage to property.
“I am particularly grateful to the stewards who worked tremendously hard along the processional route to ensure that onlookers were protected from potential injury.”
East Sussex Fire & Rescue reported a largely quiet night, being called upon to deal with fewer than 10 incidents, all minor. The provision of extra water butts to douse spent torches and good co-operation from stewards made a significant contribution to this figure.