Shropshire drinkers urged to be sensible and avoid need for local lockdown
As pubs prepare to reopen for the first time in months weekend drinkers are being urged to be sensible, not to put pressure on the emergency services, and avoid the need for the type of local lockdown seen in Leicester.
Shropshire's pubs have been gearing up for tomorrow's reopening, with expectations of large numbers descending on the county's biggest towns.
Police have said they were basing their planning for the evening on a normal New Year's Eve – what is usually their busiest night of the year.
Superintendent Mo Lansdale said the force has planned for the weekend and will have officers "in the places they are needed, at the times they are needed."
She also said they would be looking at enforcement as a last resort in terms of dealing with the public.
The county's police and crime commissioner, John Campion, asked people to be sensible, and not to put the hard work and sacrifice of lockdown at risk.
He said: “This weekend we see the next phase of lockdown lifted. We have come this far and shown a huge strength as a community in the fight against Covid-19. As we enter this next phase, I am calling on communities to continue being sensible and considerate to ensure we don’t undo all that we have collectively achieved.
“By doing this, we can keep unnecessary pressure off our emergency services and avoid finding ourselves in a similar position to Leicester and other areas that have been identified as at risk of an isolated lockdown.”
Superintendent Lansdale said: “I’d like to thank everyone across the county who has worked with us throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. We’re incredibly grateful that the vast majority of people have adhered to the rules.
“Obviously, we know that many people will be looking forward to visiting pubs and restaurants this weekend and as we have done throughout each stage of lockdown we will continue to take the four ‘Es’ approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the public. Enforcement action will only ever be used as a last resort.
“As we do each weekend out of lockdown we have plans in place for the night time economy. This weekend will be no different and we will have sufficient resources in the places they are needed, at the times they are needed.
“We hope people will enjoy the extra freedom sensibly and safely remembering that there are still restrictions in place.”
Speaking earlier this month Superintendent Jim Baker, Telford and Wrekin’s Local Policing Commander said they had been looking at New Year's Eve as a template for their expectations.
He said: "It’s been exercising our minds for some time.
“Our busiest night of the year is typically New Year’s Eve. It’s busy for a whole host of reasons.
“And, in many ways, we’re using New Year’s Eve as a reference point for how we may have to police the night-time economy, certainly on July 4 and then moving forward.
“Our message would be that everyone is going to be keen to get out there and see friends and family within a social setting, but be sensible. Pace oneself."