Police Commissioner warns officers will be 'a lot more ready' ahead of pubs reopening

30 June 2020, 09:50

Dame Cressida Dick has urged drinkers to be calm
Dame Cressida Dick has urged drinkers to be calm. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Extra police will be on duty this weekend across London in case of violence as pubs and hospitality reopen in much of England on Saturday.

Britain's largest police force will have "a lot" of extra officers on the streets as the largest easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions comes into force on Saturday, July 4.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said her team had been planning for the easing of restrictions "for some time," and has warned Londoners to be calm and sensible.

Saturday will see businesses reopen more than 100 days after the Prime Minister placed the country into near-total lockdown on March 23.

Since then there has been a gradual easing of restrictions, with some pubs able to open and serve alcohol to takeaway, but customers were not able to consume drinks on the premises.

Businesses have ensured they are obeying strict Government Covid-19 secure guidance ahead of reopening.

The top cop said: "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."

Officers have faced violence in recent weeks when tensions flared at protests and a number of unlicensed music events.

The Commissioner said: "We have seen over recent weeks feelings have been running high in a number of areas for lots of different reasons.

"Coming out of lockdown, the events after the death of George Floyd. Lots of people are quite cross about a lot of things, and we are seeing people out on the streets and not always observing social distancing.

"My message is, if you're coming out on Saturday, be calm, be sensible. Look after yourself, look after your family.

"We are still in a global pandemic which is affecting this country very obviously. People need to be sensible."