Police shut down several parties across London last night as ‘Super Saturday’ revellers continued drinking and dancing into Sunday evening.
In Millfields Park and Hackney Downs Park, both in Hackney, footage showed large crowds of people mingling together as officers stood around the edge. Both parks were later subjected to dispersal orders as they failed to follow current social distancing restrictions.
Hackney Police said in a statement last night: ‘A Section 35 Dispersal Order has been authorised for the entirety of Millfields Park E5 by Inspector Norman due to an unlicensed music event. This dispersal is in place in order to prevent disorder.
‘Due to a number of unlicensed music events in the areas of Hackney Downs park and Cecilia Road, a Sec 35 dispersal zone has been authorised by Insp Weeks from 21:20 05/07/20 til 11:00 06/07/20 within the E5, E8 and N16 postcodes.’
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On Saturday, Brits in England were able to hit the pub for the first time in months, with thousands of bars, restaurants and cafes also opening their doors to the public.
Branded ‘Super Saturday’ due to the number of revellers heading out for pints, the day saw a number of brawls break out, while several pubs in four Nottinghamshire towns decide to close early following reports of ‘major disorder’.
Police Federation Chairman John Apter also described dealing with ‘naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks’ while on duty in Southampton. He added on Twitter: ‘What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance.’
Customers who booked spaces inside pubs encountered restricted area access, table only service and continuous reminders to socially distance. They were also required to leave their names and phone numbers behind so they could be traced in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.
Under current restrictions, Brits can only meet members of their own or one other household for a drink.
Despite the chaos on Saturday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the reopening of pubs a ‘success’ on Sunday, and claimed the drinkers had ‘very, very, largely acted responsibly’.
Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge, he said: ‘Very very largely people have acted responsibly and this balanced message is so important. People should enjoy summer safely and of course the emphasis is both on enjoy and safely.
‘Of course everybody knows that we are doing everything we can to get back to normal but only to do that when it’s safe to do so. Overall I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. It was really good to see people out and about and largely, very largely, social distancing.’
He added: ‘My overriding message to people is yes enjoy the new freedoms but do so safely following social distancing. It is so important and even the basics like washing you hands.’
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