Reopening pubs on weekday "would have been easier" says Met Commander

4 July 2020, 09:33

By Seán Hickey

Police forces across the country are prepared for a busy day ahead as bars in England reopen their doors to the public.

Bas Javid is a Commander for Frontline Policing in the Metropolitan Police and joined Andrew Castle to break down how the service have prepared for the reopening of pubs on what many have dubbed Super Saturday.

"Was it a wise idea for the government to open up pubs on a Saturday?" Andrew asked Mr Javid right off the bat, but the police commander was cautious in his answer.

"Our job in the police is to do everything to keep our community safe" he told Andrew, adding that the Met will be doing "everything we can to make it a safe transition" for business owners today as they reopen to the public.

Andrew asked him whether he thought "Monday would have been better than a Saturday" for bars to reopen, as the country grips itself for crowds not seen since lockdown began.

"It could be argued that a less busy day would have been easier but having said that we're now prepared for what we're faced with tonight.

"Clearly we're asking people again to be vigilant and follow the rules and actually not even assume that every single pub and restaurant will be open because they won't be."

Pubs in England reopen today as government eases lockdown
Pubs in England reopen today as government eases lockdown. Picture: PA

Mr Javid reminded listeners that many establishments have chosen to keep their doors closed this weekend and the public should be aware of this as they take to the streets.

"I suggest that it will be a very staged and slow transition but it is clearly one that is welcome across London for many people because we've all been in this restrictive period since March."

He urged the public to "take that personal social responsibility to keep people safe."

Andrew wondered if the Met are "expecting idiot trouble tonight" from rowdy crowds. "What we're expecting is large numbers of people compared to what we've seen in recent times" he replied.

Mr Javid told Andrew that should the police have to "resort to taking action and making arrests then that's exactly what we'll do."

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