Police chief urges peoples to avoid Bristol city centre on ‘super Saturday’

People have been advised to avoid Bristol city centre on 'super Saturday' as pubs and bars are permitted to reopen.

Police have warned people to avoid Bristol city centre when lockdown restrictions are eased on ‘Super Saturday’.

Pubs and bars are permitted to reopen on 4 July after being closed for more than three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But there are fears the sudden reopening might lead to a rise in anti-social behaviour, with extra officers being drafted in in Bristol to maintain public order.

Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police Andy Marsh has advised people to avoid the centre of Bristol. Credit: ITV News West Country

Andy Marsh, who is the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, said he is anticipating a “high-demand weekend”.

Speaking to police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens in a Facebook Live, he explained: “We are not through this crisis yet. It's great that we're going to the next step, but this is a crisis that each and every one of us can play a vital role in defeating. 

“We think it is incredibly important, as we move into this next phase, that people don't think this is finished, and they do continue to exercise social distancing."

Bristol City will also face rivals Cardiff City in the Championship on Saturday, which Mr Marsh says might draw extra people into the centre.

"I would urge any supporters on either side not to come into Bristol city centre hoping to drop into a pub and have a pint, it will not work like that," he explained.

"That's not the place to watch the match."

Last weekend, hundreds of people gathered in Stokes Croft, central Bristol, for a street party which lasted several hours.

Ahead of the lockdown restrictions being eased, Mr Marsh advised members of the public to not report small gatherings such as house parties.

He said the focus should be on preventing illegal raves from taking place, which people have been asked to report by phoning 101.

“We know our communities don’t want raves in their neighbourhoods and it can lead to other anti-social behaviour such as urinating in gardens and other damage and crimes,” he said.

"We ran a bespoke operation last weekend - Operation Hazel - and will be again this weekend. It is intelligence-led and people will be expecting us to monitor social media.

"We want landowners and property owners to secure properties that might be vulnerable to raves."

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