Police urge common sense ahead of hot weekend

By Barrie Hudson - 7 August 2020

Community

Wiltshire Police have issued an appeal for the public to maintain social distancing at gatherings this weekend.

  • The force wants people to enjoy themselves - but safely

    The force wants people to enjoy themselves - but safely

With temperatures set to soar from tomorrow - Saturday, 8 August - it is expected to be a busy weekend for pubs and restaurants as people begin to feel more confident about venturing out and enjoying the sunshine. 

However, the police say it is important that people continue to socially distance where possible and ensure they follow guidelines at their venues. 

Part of the force's Summer Demand campaign, which aims to help reduce demand on local policing teams, focuses on violent crime and public order. 

Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “Many pubs and restaurants have worked tirelessly to ensure their premises are covid-secure in recent weeks - now it is down to the public to ensure they are adhering to the rules and enjoying themselves safely when out and about. 

“While it is great to see people supporting the hospitality industry after an extremely challenging year, it is important that we do not allow ourselves to become complacent.”

Overall crime volumes in Wiltshire reduced as a result of covid, and this was reflected in violence with injury crimes which saw a reduction in March and April.

Volumes are starting to increase as restrictions remain at normal.

Supt Williams added: “As expected, the number of reports of public order and violence fell slightly during lockdown when pubs and bars were forced to close, but we are starting to see the numbers rise once again as people begin getting back to some kind of normality. 

"We know that people’s inhibitions will be lowered when they’ve consumed alcohol.

"This is often a contributory factor to violence and public order offences, which in turn place extra demand on our frontline services, including our ambulance colleagues who have been and continue to be under extreme pressure.  

“So our message to the public is clear – we are still in a global pandemic and this is set to be the case for many months.

"Please stay alert when out, look after yourselves and each other, drink responsibly and ensure you are abiding by the rules regarding face coverings where required, social distance and wash your hands regularly.”

The police are also urging to plan their evenings and journeys carefully.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jerry Herbert said: “Traditionally, summer is a prolific time for drink-driving – our concern is that with more licenced premises now beginning to open, more people will be tempted to take the risk and get behind the wheel of a car having consumed alcohol.

“We’d urge people to think ahead – when booking your table at a pub or a restaurant, take a minute to also book a taxi home. 

"It’s simply not worth the risk. If you take a risk with your life and that of other peoples by drink or drug driving, you will be caught.”

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