South Yorkshire Police representative raises concerns over pubs reopening on a Saturday

A South Yorkshire police officer has raised concerns over the reopening date of pubs as lockdown measures are eased.

By Claire Lewis
Friday, 26th June 2020, 7:34 am
Updated Friday, 26th June 2020, 7:35 am

Large numbers are expected to flock to pubs across the country on Saturday, July 4, to socialise after months of limited contact with friends and family.

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But Steve Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents officers, has expressed concerns.

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South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Steve Kent.

He said: “I know lots of people, me included, will be really looking forward to enjoying a drink in a pub again.

“But the decision to re-open them on a Saturday if coupled with hot weather could be a perfect storm in terms of policing demand for our hard working officers and staff in South Yorkshire Police.”

The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has warned the Government announcement about ending lockdown on July 4 could be ‘a countdown to party time’ and increase pressure on police forces.

John Apter said: “We all accept that the economy must get moving after such a long period of lockdown.

“However, the announcement of this easing of lockdown has been done in such a way that a head of steam will be gathering between now and July 4, which could be seen by some as a countdown to party time.

“This leads to issues that the police will have to deal with. Firstly, of course, there are worries about alcohol consumption leading to drunken and irresponsible behaviour, and there’s also the concern that people who can’t get into pubs because of restrictions that are still in place may cause conflict.

“This will, without doubt, add more pressure on policing, paramedics and the wider NHS.

“I know that there is a lot of frustration out there and business need to start making money, but public safety must be paramount and pressure on public services must be considered.

“I would urge the public to be responsible, sensible, and mindful of the restrictions that are still in place. The public have shown support for their key workers during lockdown; they can continue to give support by behaving sensibly now that the restrictions are easing.”