Police admit the first weekend after Freedom Day was among their "busiest ever" in Northamptonshire.
Thousands of revellers hit town centres on Friday and Saturday night as nightclubs opened for the first time in 17 months and pubs were able to ditch table service and face masks for 'vertical drinking.'
Three people were arrested for assaults on police and a number of violent incidents are being investigated as officers reported "lots of very intoxicated people" on Friday and Saturday night.
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One inspector confessed via Twitter: "Custody was busier than I have ever known."
Police insisted the vast majority of people were well-behaved and good-humoured, however.
And one grateful officer tweeted: "Amongst the whoop, whoops and being told how to do our jobs during nightclub kicking out time, there were a number of ‘I just wanted to say thank you for doing what you do'."
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly added: “After 18 months’ respite, the first weekend of the fully reopened night-time economy naturally felt busy. However, incident levels were comparable to those seen pre-pandemic so it was very much a return to business as usual for us.
“We knew we’d see higher demand and had double the number of officers usually on shift in anticipation. A lot of planning and preparation had gone into this weekend and I’m pleased it all paid off.
"Our teams coped brilliantly with many examples of outstanding work by our officers.
“Disappointingly we did see a number of assaults against officers over the weekend, which is never acceptable.
"There are a number of people now charged and due before the courts and we are managing the welfare of the affected officers, thankfully none of whom were seriously hurt.”
A 21-year-old Corby man, Alexi Da’Costa, aged 21, of Lowry Close, is due to appear at Northampton Crown Court later this week after pleading guilty to two counts of assaulting police officers and and possession of cannabis on Saturday (July 24).
Police have also confirmed a 44-year-old Wellingborough woman and a man from Northampton, aged 29, have also been charged with assaulting emergency workers in separate incidents.
In Northampton, a man suffered serious head injuries after trying to break up a fight outside the Jeckyll & Hyde pub in Wellingborough Road just after midnight on Friday.
A 51-year-old man has been charged with threatening behaviour and possession of an offensive weapon following an incident in Silver Street, Kettering, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Detectives also issued an appeal for witnesses after a drinker was beaten up shortly after leaving the Rose & Crown pub in Rushden at 1am on Sunday.
Last weekend was the first since the lifting of all Covid restrictions on July 19 removing restrictions and the need to wear face masks inside pubs and clubs.
It was also the first since the government caused an outcry by announcing a zero per cent annual pay rise for police officers — a decision which Northamptonshire's Chief Constable nick Adderley branded "an insult and wholly unacceptable."