Merseyside Police Chief: "I wish refusing face masks was treated like smoking inside"

14 October 2020, 15:03 | Updated: 14 October 2020, 15:08

Chief Constable for Merseyside Police Andy Cooke told LBC that he wishes people refusing to wear face masks inside was as socially unacceptable as smoking inside, after huge crowds of revellers broke coronavirus measures by gathering in Liverpool.

LBC's Shelagh Fogarty put it to the Chief Constable that refusing to wear a mask inside should cause the same reaction as smoking inside, to which he agreed.

Mr Cooke urged supermarkets and shops to be as responsible as possible when allowing people to enter their shops, pointing out they will always be supported by the police.

"It takes time to get that message home to some sadly and some people will always refuse to do the right thing," he said, "I agree with you I wish it was treated like smoking within a premises. It is causing danger to others and we all need to deal with it.

This comes after huge crowds were dispersed from Liverpool city centre last night as pubs closed ahead of tier three restrictions coming into force.

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.

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty the Chief of Merseyside Police Andy Cook said the behaviour of these people 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."

The Chief Constable told LBC the police gave out 35 fines on Tuesday night.