Wedding day punch-ups and funeral fracas saw Northamptonshire Police called out 35 times this year, a Freedom of Information request by the Chron has revealed.
For most people, weddings and funerals are highly emotional events that bring together families for a boozy get‐together.
But it’s the potentially explosive cocktail of alcohol, tears and infighting that have been blamed for a spate of weddings and funerals ruined ‐ by the police turning up.
A Chronicle & Echo investigation has unearthed the reasons mourners and wedding guests call 999.
The Freedom of Information request has revealed there have been at least 35 call‐outs in the region to weddings or funerals this year due to punch-ups and disturbances.
Bestselling celebrity author GP Taylor was a vicar before leaving the church a decade ago.
In his 13 years as a man of the cloth he said he witnessed some incredible sites at weddings and funerals ‐ and claimed alcohol was usually at the root of them.
“There was one incident when the service went well but once this family all left the church and moved outside, they all just started fighting,” said Mr Taylor, author of the bestselling Shadowmancer books, which have been turned into Hollywood movies.
“It got so out of control they brought a dog handler in ‐ it was absolute carnage.
“There were people running around with blood on their shirts, which had been ripped in the scuffle while people were screaming and crying.”
“I said to them ‘This is a house of God and a place of peace!’ But it didn’t stop them, and it just kicked off.”
But it isn’t just days of celebration in which tempers flared.
“There was a funeral at a church in which the police had to remove a mourner as she was paralytic drunk,” added Mr Taylor.
“She was screaming shouting, falling over people and falling over the coffin.
“It was hysterically funny but it is a time of great sadness so you have to be sensitive.”
He also recalls another incident where police were called to collect a vicar from a hedge after he drunkenly fell into it prior to a christening.
“Another vicar was called to do the service while he sobered up in the back of the police van,” added the author.
Our probe found that the majority of crimes were committed at weddings and involved violence ‐ and were most likely fuelled heavily by alcohol.
And any couples wanting a peaceful wedding celebration should avoid a September wedding ‐ with more crimes committed in that month than any other.
Those included a wedding celebration in East Northamptonshire that was ruined after one of the party was left injured following an assault.
No action was taken in that instance, and in the vast majority of cases, no action was taken after guests calmed down.
Despite being a day of joy, national figures show police are twice as likely to be called to a wedding than a funeral.
However, offences committed in Northamptonshire pale in comparison to some of those committed elsewhere in the country.
In South Wales, someone working at a wedding reception exposed themselves to a guest, while in East Yorkshire a bride’s parents were arrested after hurling expletives at the groom’s family.
And while most services pass without incident, Mr Taylor added: “The trouble is these are times of incredible emotion, and any time alcohol is involved and families are brought together that can be fractious.”