Assault calls surge in World Cup opener


Calls made to ambulances from assault victims across the North West increased by more than a third as England began their World Cup campaign.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) dealt with 34% more assault-related injuries on Saturday night than the previous weekend.

It received 1,983 emergency calls, a general increase of 21%.

The general rise in Greater Manchester was 24%, Cheshire & Merseyside rose by 23%, and Cumbria and Lancashire by 15%.

'Anticipated surge'

An NWAS spokesman said the increase had occurred "despite campaigns by both the police and ambulance service to ask the public to drink sensibly and enjoy matches in good spirit".

"We will continue to push the message about acting responsibly and the importance of keeping ambulances free to attend to those patients with a genuine medical need.

"During an event like the World Cup, activity is always increased however we anticipated this surge in demand and managed it appropriately by increasing resources," he said.

Police in Manchester reported four arrests for affray around the fan zone at Castlefield Arena where more than 10,000 fans attended a ticket-only screening of the England USA match.

Police in Lancashire and Merseyside said they had made no football-related arrests.

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