POLICE have defended the way they handled this year’s May Fair in Boston after more criticism that they spoiled the evening atmosphere.
Officers and council bosses cut short the fair’s opening hours after the event was blighted by troublemakers, originally saying it must close at 9pm instead of 10.30pm.
That was then relaxed to 10pm for the Friday and Saturday night of the second weekend, with orders that the music had to be switched off at 9pm.
One showman told The Standard that this spoiled the atmosphere for families and drew complaints that the atmosphere was poor.
They said: “Even that was a dampener because fairs are at their best when the dusk comes in and the lights look so good. That is what fairs are all about the families just love to enjoy that great atmosphere.
“The reason the police were so keen for the music to stop, we were told, was that they feared it attracted the yob element. Well, we were all agreed that it was really unfair to spoil a family fun fair because the town’s custodians cannot control the yob element.
“Having said that, showmen do always cooperate so we agreed to shut the music off at nine o’clock. Then we get complaints from the public about the lack of music, something which was not at all our fault. So, we all felt that we were getting the blame for something that was not our choice.
“By that way of thinking it is a wonder that anything goes on in Boston in the evening at all for fear that it might attract a yob element.”
Police Chief Insp Paul Timmins said the steps taken were ‘proportionate’ and that the fair operators were not in any way to blame for the problems.
Chief Insp Timmins said: “It was simply a tactic to reduce the chance of violence at the fair. We use the same approach for licensed premises occasionally when disorder is experienced.
“This was a measured, proportionate and agreed response between all agencies.”