'Crystal clear' that drinkers will not adhere to social distancing rules after 'busy' Super Saturday
A senior police officer has said it’s ‘crystal clear’ that drinkers cannot stick to social distancing after England’s bars and pubs reopened for the first time in more than three months.
John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation, said so-called Super Saturday – Saturday, July 4 – was a ‘predictably busy night’ for police forces across the country, which confirmed alcohol and social distancing was ‘not a good combination’.
He said his own nightshift on Saturday – which took place on patrol in Southamption – made clear that drunk people would or could not adhere to the one metre plus rule advised by the Government when mixing with those from other households.
His comments came after images from London’s Soho district showed packed streets into the early hours of Sunday, July 5.
Speaking on Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he believed that ‘very, very largely people have acted responsibly’.
But Mr Apter said he dealt with ‘naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks’.
He added: “What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance. It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope.”
The Metropolitan Police praising the majority of people who obeyed social distancing and remained vigilant.
In the North East, Northumbria Police urged punters to stay safe if they were heading out and to drink responsibly.
A statement on Sunday added: “If you're out enjoying the bars and pubs today ... remember: keys, money, phone, plans to get home.
“You'll need all four of these to enjoy your day/ evening safely.”
Cleveland Police also issued a reminder to residents to know their limits following an arrest in Hartlepool on Saturday, where a man taken into custody on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.
A major easing of lockdown measures in England saw pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas opening their doors again under modified social distancing regulations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Government experts urged people to stick to the rules to avoid creating a second wave of coronavirus.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warned the public needed to be ‘really disciplined’ and maintain social distancing when they went out to pubs.