Police order people off Staple Hill streets after reports of 'drunken anti-social behaviour and disorder'
POLICE had to clear people from streets in Staple Hill after "reports of drunken anti-social behaviour and disorder" ahead of the lockdown.
Officers used powers under anti-social behaviour laws to move on groups who were "smashing bottles, shouting and swearing" in the High Street, Broad Street, Page Road and Page Park at 10.45pm yesterday.
They imposed a "dispersal area" around the affected streets to clear them.
A police spokesperson said: "Officers were first called just before 10pm to reports of a disturbance in Broad Street and remained in the area until about 11.40pm to ensure the groups had dispersed."
Residents reported a large amount of broken glass in the streets after the incident and there were reports of assaults on teenagers in the High Street and Broad Street.
The incident was one of 41 reports of COVID-19 legislation breaches across the Avon and Somerset area overnight as the new restrictions came in to force, with the force warning that "flagrant breaches" of the rules will not be tolerated.
Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “The vast majority of people are sticking to the rules and following the guidance that’s in place and we’re extremely grateful for this.
"We are fortunate the number of COVID-19 cases in the South West are not as high as some other parts of the UK, but they are rising and we cannot afford to be complacent.
“The coronavirus legislation is in place to save lives and stop the spread of a virus which has claimed the lives of more than 46,000 people in the UK. We will continue to engage with the public as we have done throughout this crisis, explain the restrictions in place and encourage them to comply.
“But we won’t tolerate flagrant breaches of the regulations. We will move more swiftly to enforcement because we simply cannot allow the selfish actions of a few to jeopardise the determined efforts our communities have put in over the past seven months.”
The government has given Avon and Somerset police an extra £680,000 to tackle issues relating to the pandemic, which has been used to set up a dedicated COVID-19 response team.