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Iran Press TV

Fears of disorder ahead of imminent pub reopenings in England

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 6:12 PM

Police forces across England are on alert as the country prepares to reopen pubs after 104 days of closing them down as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (who is England's most senior police officer) has led the way by urging people to "be calm, be sensible" ahead of pub reopenings on Saturday 04 July.

Dame Cressida Dick claimed her forces have been preparing "for some time" and have "extra resources in place" to deal with any potential disorder and rioting on the streets of London.

Talking to BBC Radio 4's Today program, the Met Commissioner advised people to: "Look after yourself, look after your family … We are still in a global pandemic which is affecting this country very obviously".

Dick's warning comes in the wake of the proliferation of illegal street gatherings and parties across London with scores of Met police officers injured as they tried to break up these unlawful gatherings.

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police (which counts as one of England's largest police authorities) says it has planned a "significant" operation to thwart potential violence in the days following pub re-openings on July 04.

Additionally, West Yorkshire Police has announced that night marshals will be deployed to support officers in Leeds.

The warnings issued by England's most senior police chiefs echoes growing concerns amongst police rank and file about the government's decision to re-open pubs and bars before the pandemic has been sufficiently contained.

John Apter, the head of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents the police's grassroots, told the BBC last week the government's announcement had created "a countdown to carnival" which could lead to "big problems".

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