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Drunk people can’t socially distance: British police

People in the Soho area of London on Saturday.

People in the Soho area of London on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS

Britain’s police said on Sunday that revellers who packed London’s Soho district the night pubs finally reopened made it “crystal clear” that drunk people cannot socially distance.

England’s hospitality sector sprung back to life after a three-month COVID-19 hiatus on what the media dubbed as either “Super Saturday” or “Independence Day”.

Pubs and restaurants were allowed to start seating clients and barbers could get their clippers out for the first time since March.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced queries about why he decided to schedule the grand reopening for a Saturday instead of a potentially less chaotic Monday.

Mr. Johnson said Friday that it would not have made much of a difference either way. The head of Britain’s police federation said he ended up dealing with “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks” while on shift. “What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance,” John Apter told London radio.

Also read: UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak urges British public to help restart economy on ‘Super Saturday’

He said his own police department in the southern city of Southampton “managed to cope”. “I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted,” Mr. Apter said.

A scan of police reports from Saturday night showed a similar level of mischief-making across England. Officers in the southwestern Devon and Cornwall region had logged up nearly 1,000 reports of “drink-related disorder and anti-social behaviour” by late Saturday.

There were also reports of illegal raves in London and the northeast that resulted in mass arrests as well as disorder in the north Midlands.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:00:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/drunk-people-cant-socially-distance-british-police/article31996440.ece

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