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Coronavirus: Police preparing for weekend ‘as busy as New Year’s Eve’ when pubs reopen | UK News

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Police in England are preparing for the weekend, amid warnings it could be as busy as New Year’s Eve when pubs reopen once again.

Pubs, bars and restaurants have all been given the green light to open across England from Saturday, after being closed down for more than three months due to the coronavirus lockdown.

However, police leaders are warning that the public will be “out in droves” on Saturday, with one saying that they fear a return to A&E departments looking something like a “circus full of drunken clowns” at the weekend.



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Tim Clarke, from the Metropolitan Police Federation which represents officers as high as chief inspector, said that the weekend “could be anything but a ‘Super Saturday’ for police officers”.

He said: “The challenges they face this weekend with pubs and restaurants reopening and many people predicted to travel across the country to see family and friends will make this weekend perhaps as busy as policing New Year’s Eve.

“People will be coming out in droves and if we have nice weather again this weekend it will be a significant challenge with the further relaxation of COVID-19 guidance.

“This could have been mitigated by waiting until Monday to further relax the government guidelines to us all – but as always, policing and police officers will do the best we can in the challenging circumstances.”

Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police’s commissioner, has said her force has been preparing for the reopening of pubs “for some time”, telling the Today programme: “We’re planning, we’ve got extra resources in place, we’re talking to people in every way we can think of, we are absolutely prepared.

“You will see a lot of police officers out on the street. There will be a lot more ready should people be out of order, should people get violent. But I’m not predicting that at this stage.

“My message is, if you’re coming out on Saturday, be calm, be sensible. Look after yourself, look after your family.

“We are still in a global pandemic which is affecting this country very obviously. People need to be sensible.”

Brian Booth, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, has warned that alcohol consumption fuels crime and puts strain on the emergency services.

“Police officers are right to have concerns about this weekend and government restrictions being lifted based on our experience of people’s behaviour changing when alcohol is involved,” he said.

“We have more violence, street disorder, sexual assaults, missing people and injured people who may need medical assistance. All of these impose significant strain on policing and our colleagues in the NHS.

“Having seen the effect of fast food drive-thru outlets in West Yorkshire opening, and some of the public behaviour which followed, my concerns are heightened purely due to alcohol and the issues this brings.



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“Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, local A&Es on Friday and Saturday nights were at times akin to a circus full of drunken clowns. We do not need this once again.

“It is known that alcohol lowers inhibitions and I truly hope the vast majority of public maintain their common sense, remembering we are still living under the cloud of COVID.”

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