Extra police patrols will monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed today
Extra police patrols will monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed further today (Monday, May 17).
The force is urging people to continue to follow the rules and guidance as Lancashire's pubs, bars, cafes and other businesses prepare to welcome customers inside for the first time this year.
From today (Monday, May 17), we can socialise indoors in groups of up to six or two households, including for overnight stays. Up to 30 people can also meet outside whilst pubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues can welcome customers back indoors.
Ch Supt Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, said officers will take a "common sense and proportionate approach" to policing as lockdown measures continue to be eased.
He said: "While we are moving back towards some normality and today’s easing of certain lockdown measures is a further step in the right direction it is important to remember that the virus is still with us and we don’t want confidence to lead to complacency.
"The vast majority of residents in Lancashire have shown tremendous patience and support in following the rules since the start of the pandemic and we would absolutely encourage them to continue to do so.
"We’re looking forward to seeing people out enjoying themselves but please remember to do so safely.
"Our overall policing style won’t change – we will still be very visible and take a common sense and proportionate approach to policing the regulations in force at any point in time.
"We’re of course mindful about a return to people being allowed indoors in pubs and restaurants. Please follow the rules, pace yourself and drink safely. Stick with your mates and plan your journey home.
"We’ll police with pride and professionalism and we will be engaging, friendly and fair – we won’t however tolerate significant anti-social behaviour, violence or criminality."
The message from Lancashire Police comes after a mass brawl broke out at a pub in Euxton, near Chorley, at the weekend.
Police say around 80 people were involved in the drunken fracas at around 10.30pm on Saturday (May 15) and three people were injured after being struck with glass bottles.
The force said three people were "seriously assaulted with glassware" and required treatment from ambulance crews.
Local councils say their licensing teams will be monitoring pubs and bars this week to ensure they are following guidance, meeting licensing conditions and keeping their customers safe.
Lancashire Police said its officers will support local councils to ensure these rules are followed and will visit pubs and bars during their patrols.
Ch Supt Procter added: "The last year has been really been tough for us all but there is cause to be hopeful. If you are heading for the pub, have a good time but please be responsible.
"We’ll be visible, with extra officers on patrol and will have a focus on pubs, bars and the night-time economy.
"We still expect it will be really busy for us across Lancashire. Many of our officers haven’t had much of a break since the pandemic started – please let’s do our best to help us stay on the road towards normality over the next few weeks by being responsible and having respect for yourself, others and the law.
"On the whole, the people of Lancashire have shown tremendous support and respect for the regulations – let’s make sure this continues.
Live updates as Lancashire take the next step and rules ease further - Follow our live blog as lockdown rules are relaxed in Lancashire from today (Monday, May 17).
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