While people are out drinking and having fun in and around Swindon’s bars, another group are out on the town for a very different reason.

You probably may not have heard of the night-time economy officers, but each night they are out while you are out-out.

I tagged along with the officers to Wood Street on their usual rounds of the bars and pubs on a Friday night to see how they operate.

It started in the station, with officers being briefed on recent issues to be alert for and any potential troublemakers who could be out that night.

Wiltshire Police recently launched the Walk Away Campaign, encouraging people to walk away from heated arguments while out rather than risk a potentially deadly fight.

PC Shears said: “At night time the main issue we find is fights outside of pubs.

“At kicking out times everyone is mingling together, the fresh air hits them and they do some things that they might not have done inside.

“The main thing is that alcohol is there, and people want to show off in front of the lads.

“We are seeing people getting seriously hurt in fights more often recently - it will be stranger on stranger. I would say it is an increasing issue.”

Later, on Wood Street, officers pointed out two venues which attracted particular issues due to having dancefloors - a spilled drink on the person next to you is often all it takes to start a fight.

PC Shears believes Swindon is a ‘fairly safe’ place to be out at night thanks to all the staff working.

They work closely with venues and security staff using the scheme Pubwatch to identify and alert the police and other venues of people causing issues.

While strolling with PC McDowell and PC Barrington, they are pulled aside by one of the security staff at Kioki.

The doorman shows them a picture of someone on his phone who had been spotted five minutes ago in the area, said to carrying a knife.

He is known by the officers, and they set off down the street to speak with other venues. But they never make it.

Meanwhile girl is sprawled on the pavement, slurring her words, and PC McDowell and PC Barrington call her a police car home - such are the varied duties of a night-time economy officer.