Lancashire police have released the following statement ahead of what is anticipated to be their busiest weekend of the year so far with some sources likening it to New Years Eve.
We have been following officers on the streets of Blackpool since 2017 and have seen first hand what they come up against on a normal weekend in the resort. We have included some pictures in this statement just to illustrate some of the situations our local police force find themselves in.
Statement from Lancs Police
A significant policing operation is in place for the weekend as officers prepare for the reopening of pubs and bars in Lancashire.
From Saturday (July 4) all pubs and bars, closed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, can reopen with restrictions.
Police are encouraging people to enjoy their day, behave responsibly and look after themselves.
Ch Supt Sam MacKenzie, of Lancashire Police, said: “We recognise the impact the lockdown has had and understand many people will want to take advantage of bar and pubs reopening.
“We want people to enjoy their day if they are going to the pub but we’d urge them to look after themselves and keep themselves safe.
“There is a significant policing operation in place with extra officers out and about. We also have policing plans in place covering the entire county including large towns and more rural areas.
“If you are going out, please follow the rules of the pub, pace yourself and drink safely.
“We will have extra resources on all weekend to target and deal with crime and anti-social behaviour. At best you can expect to be dispersed or sent home – at worst you can expect to be locked up.”
In June the government announced a series of measures to ease the lockdown in England.
From July 4, social distancing guidance will change from 2m to ‘one metre plus’.
As well as restaurants and pubs, museums and galleries, cinemas, hairdressers, children’s playgrounds and holiday accommodation can reopen from Saturday.
Ch Supt MacKenzie added: “People should remember the guidance on social distancing and keep a safe distance from others. It’s up to people to show individual responsibility and do the right thing.
“The virus has not gone away. Keep a safe distance apart and keep yourself and your families safe. If you don’t feel you can socially distance inside or outside any licensed premises then do the sensible thing and go somewhere else.
“If we don’t control the virus there is a risk of a localised lock down which is something I am sure we would all want to avoid.
“Make sure you plan your journey home – some public transport operators are still running a reduced service and taxis may be hard to come by.”
If you see any large unlawful gatherings or anti-social behaviour then please tell us – either by calling 101 or using our online forms here https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/
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