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Merseyside police chief criticises "selfish, dangerous" crowd in Liverpool
14 October 2020, 15:17 | Updated: 14 October 2020, 15:21
The Chief of Merseyside Police has criticised revellers who spilled out on to the streets of Liverpool ahead of tier 3 lockdown restrictions coming into force in the region as "selfish, dangerous and childish".
Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty, Chief of Merseyside Police Andy Cook said the behaviour was "selfish, dangerous, childish and is not at all reflective of the vast majority of people on Merseyside who have been doing the right thing.
"We cleared those individuals very very quickly following that display and I'm really pleased to say people as a whole are doing the right thing but sadly a small number of people like that bring shame on the city," he said.
The Chief Constable told LBC the police gave out 35 fines on Tuesday night.
Pub-goers spilled onto the streets at 10pm as the government's curfew was enforced, with revellers keen to get their last bit of fun ahead of the stricter rules.
Videos posted on social media showed hundreds of people - many not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing rules - chanting and dancing in the streets.
The police chief also explained that revellers were cleared "very very quickly".
His comments come as Mayor Joe Anderson said the footage had sent him into "levels of despair" he had never experienced before.
He said: "I saw those people behaving in the way they did when over the last couple of days I have had messages from hospital workers who want to remain anonymous because they are concerned.
"The hospitals are so much under pressure, the staff feel physically and mentally exhausted.
"Yet I see people putting two fingers up to those health workers and the people who have had members of their family die.
"It really was a slap in the face."
He said: "This city is in a Covid crisis. It's an enemy we are really finding it hard to get on top of and defeat. We need to keep working together and pulling together.
"Do I think at this juncture what we've got in place is going to be enough to bring it down rapidly? I'm not so sure.
"Do I think we could bring the R rate back to a level that is manageable in a month? It is going to be difficult but that's what we've got to do and we have got to work together with people co-operating."
Constable Cook later told Shelagh that police are supporting supermarkets across Merseyside to enforce mask wearing.
He explained: "It takes time to get the message home to some sadly.
"Some people will always do the wrong thing, but I wish it was treated as seriously as smoking indoors.
"These people are causing a danger to others and we need to deal with it."