Warning from police as pubs prepare to reopen
Police have warned they will not “tolerate bad behaviour” as pubs prepare to reopen this weekend following a three-month closure during lockdown.
They have asked drinkers to be patient with bar staff as they get used to a new way of working.
Staffordshire Police told pub-goers “things are going to look quite different to what you are used to” and that not all premises have decided to re-open but those that do will be doing so in line with current covid guidance.
This includes reduced opening hours, requirement for pre-booking on a first come, first served basis, reduced capacity to allow social distancing, no live entertainment or dance floors, table service and/or use of mobile phone apps to order, reduced food menus, and some venues may now choose to introduce door staff.
Staffordshire Moorlands Police commander Ch Insp Mark Thorley said: “We are working with partners to ensure that the town centres across the Moorlands are safe and enjoyable places to visit. My team will be visible within the towns, working closely with the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council licensing team to support venues as they re-open.”
He added: “I want to make it clear that we will not tolerate poor behaviour in our towns and to support officers this weekend a number of section 34 dispersal authorities will be in place. This will give officers the power to direct people to leave should they cause harassment, alarm or distress to members of our community.”
Any form of abuse may result in a Pub Watch ban from venues within town centres, Ch Insp Thorley warned.
“We continue to support our colleagues from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council with the Intoxicated campaign and request that people drink sensibly,” he added.
A licensing representative from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: “We know people will be looking forward to the further easing of restrictions from this weekend and would join the police in urging everyone to behave responsibly and to follow the guidance and measures being put in place to protect the safety of everyone.
“While most licensees will be fully aware of their responsibilities and the key role they have to play in the safe re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants after the lockdown, there are a range of new powers available to the licensing authority and the police to deal with situations where the public's safety is compromised.
“Council officers will work closely with the police and Trading Standards to encourage and support a safe return to work for staff and a safe environment for the public.”