Work continuing with licensed premises during Covid-19
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In the coming months, as circumstances change, many people will be considering the freedom that will bring the opportunity to socialise with family and friends again.
This will, no doubt, involve many of the licensed premises across the force area who will be allowed to open their doors once again.
And this will, of course, bring many changes for all involved – including the police.
One of the most noticeable changes for police during the past few months is that officers normally deployed to police the night time economy have been able to deal more with other crime and concerns affecting our communities - and not incidents of violence and disorder as a result of excessive alcohol consumption on a night out.
And while police will welcome licensees being able to open their businesses when it is deemed safe to do so, work continues to ensure this is done in a safe and responsible way in the interests of business owners, staff, customers and residents – and to allow the police focus on other community concerns to continue.
Policing in the city centre (taken before current Government guidelines were in place)
Leicestershire Police works closely with all licensed premises across the city and county. We have dedicated licensing officers who are responsible for ensuring pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants and late night venues – when they are open - are operating as they should, within the guidelines and ensuring the health and safety of all their customers.
While the majority of licensees do work well with us, unfortunately on some occasions in the past we have had to approach local authorities to re-consider licences for premises who flout the law thereby contributing to the increased demands on the police. This is done in the interests of everyone’s safety and to allow those premises who are operating responsibly to continue to do so.
When restrictions are lifted, the force will also continue its work to remind pub and club-goers to drink responsibly and to look after themselves and others when they are out - ensuring the only possible issue they have to deal with following a night out is a hangover!
Chief Constable Simon Cole, said: “We work closely with licensees and have a good working relationship with many. This work has continued throughout the lockdown period and will continue as restrictions are eased.
“As we come through this difficult period, many licensed premises will be looking to re-open their doors as soon as they are allowed. We support this but we also know and are prepared that this will result in increased demand on the police service. We do ask that people – including both business owners and visitors to the premises - therefore reflect on the last few months and act responsibly when this happens.
“The last few months have shown that with less demand to officers from the night-time economy, this allows us to focus more on communities and the issues affecting them. Going forward, we all need to work together to allow this to continue to happen and, of course, to keep everyone involved in the night-time economy safe. This includes business owners and staff, people who are visiting the premises and all our emergency service colleagues who are simply carrying out their jobs to look after people and protect them from harm.
“Our colleagues in the ambulance service and Accident and Emergency departments across the force area will just be coming through an extremely difficult time due to Covid-19 and we need to ensure as a community we don’t add any unnecessary burden on them and help them recover.
“As a force we will continue to work closely with licensees going forward to ensure that at a time when the businesses are back operating, they are fully supported and that everything possible is being done to encourage responsible drinking, that rules and guidelines are being followed and that everyone’s safety is being treated as the top priority. We will also continue to work and engage with people who are visiting the premises to ensure they are safe and are acting in a responsible manner.
“For now, we ask that everyone continues to comply by the restrictions and social distancing rules which are there to keep you safe and to protect the NHS. In return our officers will continue to engage with you and to explain and encourage in relation to the guidelines with enforcement measures only being used as a last resort.
“Our thanks do go to the many licensees who have shown their support during what has been a very difficult time and we look forward to our continued working together in the future.”