Christmas carnage kicks off across Britain as drunken revellers stretch emergency services to the limit
Drunken yobs cause carnage in cities across the countryCalls to 999 skyrocket as drinkers fight and fall overArmy-style triage units in street to deal with chaos500,000 emergency centre just for drunks set up in London
16:18 GMT, 16 December 2012
A young woman dressed in next to nothing lies prostrate on a soaking pavement, one of thousands of binge-drinking revellers who caused chaos on Britain's streets on 'Black Friday'.
With just nine days until Christmas, hordes of party-goers ignored the driving rain and freezing conditions to pack out pubs, bars and clubs on festive parties, and many were so drunk they could barely stand.
In scenes of carnage repeated across the
country, women stumbled in the middle of the road and yobs fought in
and outside bars, while some thugs hurled rubbish at each other.
Out for the count: Woman lies drunk on soaking pavement and is oblivious to the cold and rain
Oblivious: Women with flesh on display alone and leaning against a bin in Cardiff City Centre
Watch it: Woman (left) is hauled up from a tumble and these girls (right) look in high spirits
To prepare for what is traditionally one
of the biggest weekends of the year, police and paramedics set up
army-style field hospitals to treat the wounded and intoxicated.
In London, a centre for drunks in Soho was set up at a cost of 500,000. All beds were taken by 11.30pm on Friday.
Paramedics in the major cities were stretched to the limit, with Newcastle's ambulance service taking up to 1,200 calls on Friday alone.
In Cardiff, emergency nurse Wayne Parsons, 44, treated scores of people at a special mobile triage unit, some of whom had injured themselves by simply falling over blind drunk.
He said many people had been on all-day binge sessions which started at lunchtime and finished in the early hours of the morning.
Wild: Shouting man gives girl a piggy back near Cardiff's notorious 'Chippy Alley'
Binge nation: Man sits slumped outside Cardiff bar
'The patients' ailments range from various states of intoxication to head injuries and recreational drug use,' he said.
'Many patients, who are mostly aged between 18 and 25, are found covered in vomit.
'Most people we see, their consciousness level is unconscious really.'
Booze Britain: A woman in Birmingham is so drunk she needs to be propped up by a man
Strong arm of the law: There was a heavy police presence in Birmingham as police tried to maintain order
Call-centre worker Callum Davies, 22, summed up the attitude of many revelers, saying: 'We're out to get hammered and have a great night out – that's what this time of year is all about.
'Once you've got five or six pints down you, you don't really feel the cold, you're just interested in having a big one.
'Sometimes things go bad, people get into fights or end up being sick but that's just part of the fun.'
Another one bites the dust: Girl is in a heap in Manchester (left) while a man is arrested
In the gutter: Party-goer struggled to get up from the pavement as his friends look on
Much of the carnage was fueled by cheap drinks deals, with dozens of bars offering discounted alcohol.
In Newcastle, some men threw bin bags at passing traffic, while women stumbled around in bare feet.
Police made scores of arrests in an attempt to bring the thuggery under control.
In Birmingham, hundreds of officers were drafted in to maintain order.
One man was so drunk, he narrowly avoided being hit by a car when he stumbled into the road and collapsed in the gutter.
Help at hand: Another woman appears unable to carry her own weight in Birmingham
Another man admitted having a 'scrap with a bloke' but brushed off the incident, saying: 'I've had six beers and 15 Sambucca shots. There's no harm done.'
Sniffer dogs mingled with drinkers in Liverpool, with one man caught by one of the animals before being handcuffed and bundled into a van.
Other men were seen openly drug-dealing.
Exposed: Woman sprawled on pavement in Liverpool as friend looks like she is preparing to vomit
Lovers' tiff A woman looks distinctly unimpressed as a man puts his head in his hand on a bench in Liverpool
Indecent exposure: Woman bares backside (left) while another reveller seems unsteady in Liverpool
One security worker said: 'We always get more trouble at Christmas. People go mental and girls are the worst.'