THE reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants in Cheshire over the weekend passed relatively peacefully with 10 arrests linked to the night-time economy.
Arrests across the county saw two arrests for drink driving in Northwich and Wilmslow and two arrests for people who were drunk and disorderly outside licensed premises on Castle Street, Nantwich, and Newton Street, Macclesfield. One male was arrested at Stockton Heath, Warrington, following a serious assault outside The Red Lion pub on Saturday evening.
Officers also advised two pubs to close in Crewe and Sandbach as they were not adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions. Both premises have been reported to the local authority.
Apart from the assault outside a pub, Warrington town centre remained relatively peaceful with brisk business reported at some licensed premises in the Cultural Quarter.
Superintendent Julie Westgate said: “There has been lots of coverage regarding the reopening of licenced premises from 4 July and fortunately, here in Cheshire, this passed relatively peacefully.
“While there were a small number of isolated incidents linked to the night time economy, the overwhelming majority of people behaved responsibly and adhered to the COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped to play their part in continuing in keeping the people of Cheshire safe.
“It was also encouraging to see the measures put in place by Cheshire licensees to keep their customers as safe as possible.”
Throughout the weekend there was a dedicated policing operation with an increased police presence at a number of key locations across the county.
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said “The past few months have been an extremely difficult time for many local business, including licenced premises, so it’s pleasing to see that the weekend passed without any serious incidents here in Cheshire.
“I would like to thank all of the officers who were involved in the policing operation, as well as all the licensees for their support.
“As coronavirus restrictions evolve over the coming weeks and months it is important to remember that the threat of coronavirus has not gone away and while pubs and restaurants are reopening, things will not simply go back to normal straight away.
“It is important that Cheshire residents continue to stay alert to the threat of the virus and continue to follow social distancing measures put in place to protect us”
Supt Westgate added: “Following the operation this weekend and, as the situation evolves regarding coronavirus, we will continue to monitor what is going on nationally and what this means on a local level here in Cheshire.
“Our officers will use common sense and discretion when dealing with the public to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.
“I would like to take this opportunity to inform people that you should only ring 999 in a genuine emergency.
“Over the weekend we received a number of calls relating to issues which were not policing matters, including people not following the social distancing guidelines, which the police cannot enforce, so are relying on your good nature to follow the guidance.
“Please remember the regulations that remain in place are to ensure the safety of the public. By following the guidance and working together, we can all help to protect the NHS and save lives.”