The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has warned the Government announcement about ending lockdown on 4 July could be ‘a countdown to party time’ and increase pressure on policing due to drunken and irresponsible behaviour.
John Apter called on members of the public to be sensible and responsible next month and to consider the significant impact on public services caused by the easing of restrictions.
Mr Apter said: “We all accept that the economy must get moving after such a long period of lockdown. It was obvious when the lockdown was introduced all those months ago that there would come a point that normality had to return, whatever that may look like.
“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 4 July, which could be seen by some as a countdown to party time, which is not accurate and certainly not the message we want to send.
“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.”