POLICE have hailed the success of a major policing operation to tackle drunken anti-social behaviour in York city centre over the weekend.

Amid rising concerns that rowdiness - often involving drunken stag and hen parties - is deterring many other people from coming into the city on weekends, extra patrols were held on Saturday as part of a pre-planned summer safety operation.

Acting Inspector Andy Godfrey said today that extra officers in high vis uniforms, including Specials, 'engaged' with groups of people as they entered the city from the train station and also inside pubs.

"We also had the prison van deployed as a visible deterrent to those considering anti-social behaviour," he said.

"A number of large groups of hen and birthday parties were present in the city and several groups were spoken with regarding inappropriate inflatables.

"All parties spoken to understood the rationale and were happy to deflate them. It was a united stance, with the bars supporting no inappropriate inflatables in the bars"

He said there had been a low number of reports of anti-social behaviour and the operation had gone well, adding that police had used dispersal powers to remove two people who had not committed offences but whose presence was thought likely to lead to crime or anti-social behaviour "The atmosphere appeared to be relaxed and everyone was in good spirits. Up to 10pm, we only had one arrest but this was due to a non-payment warrant rather than any offences. All in all a successful day."

His colleague, Acting Inspector Martin Metcalfe, said he personally was very pleased with how everyone had behaved throughout the night, with licensees, doorstaff, special constables and police officers working well together to prevent any potential issues escalating.

"We had one or two issues where things were becoming heated between 6.30 and 8.30pm but nothing major," he said.

"Considering it was very warm and sunny, along with most people getting paid, it has been a very successful and pleasant evening in the city centre."