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Yorkshire police head off pillow fight anarchy

Coppers spit feathers over flashmob plan

Police in Leeds narrowly averted a major outbreak of public disorder and non-specific rhinitis this weekend when they convinced the organisers of a mass pillow fight to pull the plug on the Facebook-advertised event.

The West Yorkshire city had been almost drowned just a few weeks ago when a flashmob staged a 350-person water fight which resulted in the trashing of an ornamental garden and thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The bedding-powered bundle was scheduled for the weekend at Woodhouse Moor in Leeds, prompting fears of further mayhem, not to mention mass allergy outbreaks.

But this time the authorities swung into action, and after desperate pleas from the police, the organisers removed the ad from Facebook.

There had been fears that pillow-touting scofflaws would turn up nevertheless. In the event, nothing happened at all in Leeds this weekend. Nothing whatsoever.

Despite the force’s ruthless crackdown on the bolster-waving revolutionaries, a spokesman insisted the force did not want to oppress people or run “a police state”.

Inspector Dave Buggs told the BBC: "We have no problem with people having fun, but what the concern is that it will escalate into something a lot worse than that and we could have public order offences.

"The last thing we want is for a thousand drink-filled youths fighting each other and getting the wrong idea. That could turn into something a lot more awful that we're not able to sort of police."

So as long as the 40,000 odd people who occasionally turn up at Leeds United home games never think to pop into a soft furnishings store en route to a game, the citizens of Leeds can sleep easy. ®

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