POLICE have thanked the public after a relatively peaceful night following the opening of pubs and bars after more than 100 days of lockdown.
Significant police resources were committed across the county on Saturday but actual footfall was lower than normal with some venues choosing not to open or to close early to avoid any risk of public disorder late into the night.
According to officers, there was overall “good compliance” with the new Covid-19 social distancing regulations introduced.
Officers responded to a small number of public disorder incidents while one pub in the east of the county had to be closed down at 9.30pm as social distancing was being ignored and a beer festival was taking place in the back garden. The venue will be visited by licensing officers next week.
In addition, police investigated a number of reports of potential illegal raves and music events, the most significant of which was at Brixworth Country Park where up to 300 people had gathered to watch a live DJ. The visitors were peacefully moved on by 11.30pm, within an hour of officers arriving.
And following a well-planned operation, publicised by Northamptonshire Police in advance, attempts to hold a car cruising event were thwarted with the organisers calling off the meet before it got under way.
ACC Simon Blatchly, Gold Commander for Op Talla, said: “I’d like to thank the many pub, bars and restaurants which, in the overwhelming majority of cases complied with the regulations and ensured customers had an enjoyable, but safe night.
“Northamptonshire Police had a well-planned operation for what we understood might be a potentially difficult evening, but footfall overall was low and some venues chose to either stay shut or close early to minimise the risk of any disorder.
“Some excellent proactive policing ensured we minimised the potential disruption caused by illegal music and car cruising events.
“This was an important first step and we’ll continue to monitor the situation closely, but I’d like to thank everyone for their co-operation as well as the many officers out and about keeping the public safe last night.”