Ex­tra po­lice drafted in as pubs to be as busy as New Year’s Eve

The Daily Telegraph - - Coronaviru­s - By Martin Evans and Izzy Lyons

THOU­SANDS of ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers will be on duty this weekend amid con­cern that drinkers may get out of con­trol when the pubs open for the first time in three months.

Leave has been can­celled in some forces with po­lice chiefs braced for scenes sim­i­lar to a New Year’s Eve or an Eng­land World Cup football clash.

Some po­lice lead­ers have crit­i­cised the Govern­ment for re­open­ing pubs on a Satur­day, with warn­ings that A&E de­part­ments could re­sem­ble a “cir­cus full of drunken clowns”. Dame Cres­sida Dick, the Met Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, said there would be a lot of ex­tra of­fi­cers on the streets.

She added: “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.”

While po­lice will be on hand to deal with trou­ble, it is down to li­censees to en­sure so­cial dis­tanc­ing is main­tained.

Am­bas­sador Pro­tec­tion, a se­cu­rity firm that op­er­ates in pubs and bars in

Lon­don and the home coun­ties, said it was “ex­cep­tion­ally busy” ahead of the weekend’s re­open­ing.

The firm said it had also seen an in­crease in de­mand for door staff to work at fine din­ing res­tau­rants.

Tim Clarke, of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion, said this weekend could be “as busy as polic­ing New Year’s Eve” and may be “any­thing but a ‘Su­per Satur­day’ for po­lice of­fi­cers”.

Mean­while, Brian Booth, the West York­shire Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion chairman, warned: “Prior to the Covid-19 out­break, 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.”

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