Police chief pledges Preston nightspot's controversial reopening will be investigated to see if Covid rules were broken

A police chief has slammed a Preston nightspot after videos posted on social media appeared to show Covid restrictions being ignored by customers.

Monday, 3rd August 2020, 6:56 pm
Revellers queue outside Switch on Saturday night.

Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said the controversial re-opening of Switch at the weekend was "not helpful" with the city teetering on the brink of fresh lockdown measures.

Around 500 revellers were inside the club on Saturday after the owners took legal action to overturn a council ban.

"We will be discussing that venue this week because we are really concerned," said DCC Woods.

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Videos circulating on social media are being viewed by police and council officials.

"Preston are on the cusp of (new) restrictions this week and to open a venue to 500 young people with drink is just not helpful at all.

"We will see what happens this week. But it is not something that we are going to ignore and we will be discussing if there is anything we can possibly do so that it doesn't happen again."

Switch was originally refused permission by the city council to re-open as a bar instead of a nightclub, but the venue's lawyers got the decision overturned at the last minute on a point of law.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire DCC Woods said Lancashire Police had had a busy weekend, being deployed to around 2,000 incidents across the county, around 100 of those Covid-related.

"The 100 was in itself quite a big rise for us compared to the previous weekend which had seen only around 10 Covid-related call-outs each day.

He also paid tribute to the Muslim community in Lancashire for the way it had respected the coronavirus restrictions despite it being Eid weekend.

"There were no particular incidents of note and so I would like to thank the Muslim community for the way they conducted themselves at the weekend under such testing circumstances for their celebration."