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