Coronavirus: ‘Crystal clear’ drunk people unable to social distance, says Police Federation
The chair of the Police Federation has said that it is “crystal clear” that drunk people are incapable of social distancing, as health secretary Matt Hancock warned the government will take action against those breaking the rules.
Although the reopening of pubs, restaurants and bars in England passed without any major incidents on Saturday, concern has been raised over the practicalities of enforcing guidance among those under the influence.
Packed scenes in London’s Soho district appeared to show large crowds gathered in the streets, while the Metropolitan Police reported that a “small number” of premises had been closed due to crowding – though it added there had been “no significant issues” in the capital.
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, a staff association for police in England and Wales, said he and colleagues had dealt with “happy drunks, angry drunks, fights” and antisocial behaviour while on duty in Southampton.
“What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance,” he tweeted.
“It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted.”
Rafal Liszewski, a store manager at Clonezone on Soho’s Old Compton Street in London, described the local crowds as “out of control”.
“Saturday started very easy. But you could feel tension in the air,” the 36-year-old told PA.
“Around 1pm crowds started to arrive... quickly everything got out of control and by 8-9 pm it was a proper street party with people dancing and drinking ...
More on: www.independent.co.uk