Pubs reopen with punters on best behaviour

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

With the reopening of pubs across the country earlier this month, police in the borough were on the lookout for antisocial behaviour and flouting of COVID-19 safety guidance.

In anticipation of pubs opening, Thames Valley Police issued warnings on its websites and social media, advising members of the public to take care, observe social distancing and not to go overboard.

Overall, the reopening was a success. Inspector Tracey Croucher said there were ‘a couple of scuffles’ at pub closing time, but otherwise, the reopening ‘couldn’t have gone any better’.

Before the reopening, police and members of the Royal Borough licensing team visited every pub in the local police area (LPA) to make sure all were fully COVID-19 compliant.

Police also visited throughout the day and evening over the weekend. They observed only a few pubs which were ‘overcrowded’, by the new COVID-19 standards.

For the time being the police are issuing guidance rather than coming down hard on pubs that have not yet quite managed to iron out their social distancing measures.

Police issued a 48-hour dispersal notice around problem areas, including Cock Marsh near Bourne End and The Brocas by the Thames in Eton.

A dispersal order allows police to quickly break up groups displaying antisocial behaviour, such as breaking glass bottles.

“Putting up a dispersal order in advance shows the public that we’re taking antisocial behaviour seriously,” said Inspector Croucher.

Last weekend there were no gatherings at Cock Marsh, and two incidents of antisocial behaviour (public urination) on The Brocas.

Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt, said: “Thames Valley Police would like to thank the public for their support after the further easing of lockdown restrictions on Saturday. Overall the weekend passed without significant incident with the vast majority enjoying themselves responsibly and adhering to the Government guidance.”

Police will also be monitoring pubs, bars and public spaces this coming weekend.

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