Posted: 30.06.20 at 15:33 by Jack Lenton
With lockdown beginning to ease and several pubs in Biddulph and the surrounding area preparing to open this weekend, police have asked to public to be well-behaved if they are heading out on Saturday night.
With pubs reopening in line the current Covid-19 guidance, police have issued advice on how customers can enjoy themselves safely, which includes being patient with bar staff who may still be getting used to the new way of working.
They have also warned that a number of section 34 orders will be in place for the weekend. The order enables police to move people on from an area where they suspect anti-social behaviour is taking place.
Staffordshire Moorlands Police Commander Chief Inspector Mark Thorley said: “We are working with partners to ensure that the town centres across the Moorlands are safe and enjoyable places to visit.
"My team will be visible within the towns, working closely with the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council licensing team to support venues as they re-open.
"I want to make it clear that we will not tolerate poor behaviour in our towns and to support officers this weekend a number of section 34 dispersal authorities will be in place.
"This will give officers the power to direct people to leave should they cause harassment, alarm or distress to members of our community.”
Some differences patrons may notice when heading out to the pub this weekend could include:
•Reduced opening hours
•Requirement for pre-booking or first come first served
•Reduced capacity to allow social distancing
•No live entertainment or dance floors - low level background music will be allowed
•Table service and/or use of mobile phone apps to order
•Reduced food menus
•Some venues may now choose to introduce door staff
A Licensing representative from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council added: “We know people will be looking forward to the further easing of restrictions from this weekend and would join the police in urging everyone to behave responsibly and to follow the guidance and measures being put in place to protect the safety of everyone.
“Whilst most licensees will be fully aware of their responsibilities and the key role they have to play in the safe re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants after the lockdown, there are a range of new powers available to the licensing authority and the police to deal with situations where the public’s safety is compromised.
"Council officers will work closely with the police and trading standards to encourage and support a safe return to work for staff and a safe environment for the public."