Police urge caution as extra officers hit the streets for lockdown relaxation

As the county gets set to enjoy its first weekend of indoor drinking this year police have urged caution, and said there will be more officers on patrol as lockdown eases.

Police say extra officers will be on patrol as lockdown continues to ease
Police say extra officers will be on patrol as lockdown continues to ease

This week has seen the return of indoor hospitality for the first time in 2021, and with it the opportunity for drinkers to return to pubs.

Brisk trade has already been reported across the county, with some seeing unprecedented takings for a weekday.

This weekend will be the first where people can drink inside pubs since the third lockdown began – indoor hospitality was allowed to reopen from Monday.

West Mercia Police said the latest changes in regulations are the "most significant" so far, and have called upon the public to be mindful of the Covid guidelines as the relaxation continues.

Inspector Paul Bent has warned that people "blatantly disregarding" the remaining restrictions will be fined, and also cautioned against people attending or organising "large illegal parties or unlicensed music events".

He added that there would be more officers on patrol as the number of people out drinking increases.

The relaxation comes against a backdrop of a number of incidents in Shrewsbury in recent weeks – even prior to the relaxation of rules – where several premises have been targeted by vandals.

Insp Bent said: “The further easing of restrictions on Monday, May 17, was the most significant change in the regulations since we started coming out of the most recent lockdown and it’s an exciting time for everyone.

“People will no doubt want to spend more time with their friends and family, and what with the recent changeable weather, it’s great news that indoor hospitality is open again.

“However, while it is understandable people will be excited, we ask that they remain cautious and continue to follow the rules around coronavirus.

“As the night-time economy starts to build up again we will have more officers on patrol and, as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to follow the national four E’s model of 'Engage, Explain, Encourage, and where necessary Enforce'.

“Those who blatantly disregard the remaining restrictions, such as attending or organising large illegal parties or unlicensed music events, can expect to be fined.”

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