Officers back on the night time economy beat as Covid restrictions ease
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Extra officers will be on patrol again in Gloucester, Cheltenham and other town centres this weekend as many people are expected to embark on an evening out for the first time in months.
With Covid restrictions being eased, allowing pubs to serve drinks outside, a number of bars have reopened and trade is likely to be brisk during Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Constabulary, which has been part of the multi-agency response to the Covid pandemic, is praising local pubs for the extensive measures they have put in place to be safe.
But officers are reminding the public that many pubs still haven't reopened and that anyone going out needs to continue to stick to the restrictions that remain.
These include the rule of six or two households, maintaining good social distancing and wearing a mask if going indoors to a toilet.
Chief Inspector Carl Bourne said: "Congratulations to so many of our local businesses for managing to put measures in place to be able to reopen this week.
"We know how many people will be looking forward to going out for the first time this year.
"Our officers will be there primarily to help ensure everyone can enjoy their evening safely and part of that will be stepping in if there is anti-social behaviour or criminality.
"We understand the vast majority will be responsible but there is a slight risk that, because people haven't been able to go out for so long, some may become over-exuberant. Where that becomes violent or abusive we simply won't tolerate such behaviour.
"Our licensing officers will also be out to ensure pubs and bars are supported in maintaining Covid secure measures required by law - so many licensees have worked so hard to do to get to a position they can trade it's vital for fairness we check everyone is maintaining those standards.
"Most importantly we don't want to see all that good work in reducing Covid infections in the county go to waste.
"Our advice to people is to plan ahead - check that where you're going is open and isn't full. Check the closing time as many venues have adjusted these and are closing earlier, and make sure you know how you're getting home - book taxis if needed."