Wedding crashers - Why Thames Valley Police were called to trouble at weddings and funerals
Punch-ups, drugs and rowdy receptions are among the reasons police crashed weddings to ruin the newlywed’s perfect day.
A Freedom of Information request to Thames Valley Police has revealed officers have been unwitting guests at 62 weddings or funeral this year.
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 in 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 either violence or loutish behavior.
And it has revealed that Milton Keynes is the wedding and funeral punch-up capital of the region.
The long arm of the law’s been deployed to a combined 10 services there so far this year.
And among the suspects identified at weddings across the region include a bridesmaid, a brother-of-the-bride and a trio of grooms - who potentially started married life off with a night in the cells.
However, Thames Valley’s offences often pale in comparison to 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 in perhaps the most shocking incident, one guest at a Derbyshire wedding was arrested for rape.
The rapist was only cautioned for the sex attack.
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.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have your say below