Great Britain

Cop crackdown as UK set for weekend of freedom with patrols stepped up at pubs & beaches and Primrose Hill SHUT at 10pm

APRIL POWERS

POLICE are set to ramp up patrols at pubs, parks and beaches this weekend as they crackdown on revellers enjoying the new freedoms.

Primrose Hill in London will shut each day from 10pm while forces up and down the country have vowed to clamp down on large gatherings.

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It comes as Brits prepare for beer gardens to reopen for their first Friday night since the lockdown eased.

It will be the first night on a weekend with outdoor bars open in all parts of England since October last year — when Tier 3 pub shutdowns hit some areas.

And drinkers will be making up for Christmas, New Year and Easter parties, with all-day sessions and booze sales set to be double a usual Friday night.

Police said Primrose Hill in north London will be temporarily closed tonight, Saturday and Sunday from 10pm to deal with the likely influx of people out and about.

The beauty spot will then reopen again the following morning with officers breaking up groups after "recent incidents of anti-social behaviour". 

It comes after scores of maskless ravers attended an illegal bash at the park in Camden on April 3.

Similar scenes were seen in cities like Manchester and Nottingham, where boozy students brawled and weed in park bushes.

Elsewhere in the capital, officers will be stepping up patrols in busy areas like Soho and Mayfair, vowing to take action against those who "dangerously flout the rules" while urging business owners to "act responsibly".

Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, leading the operation, said: "I must stress that we remain in a public health crisis and gathering in large numbers presents a real risk of transmitting Covid-19.

"While restrictions have recently eased, we need only look at what is happening now in some parts of Europe and our own recent experience to see how quickly things can change."

It comes as revellers are expected to down Five million pints tonight in a £1.6billion Fab Friday for pubs and shops.

And the biggest night out for six months will see 1.5million people sup five million pints and 500,000 bottles of wine at 20,000 pubs and 20,000 restaurants serving outdoors.

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