More police patrols for Harrogate this weekend as pubs and bars reopen
Residents will see increased patrols across the district this weekend as hundreds of bars, pubs and restaurants reopen after months in lockdown, North Yorkshire Police has confirmed.
Extra patrols will be deployed across the county as officers work with partner agencies to help ensure the long-awaited opening of licensed premises passes safely.
Drink and drug driving patrols will also be stepped up and drinkers are urged to plan in advance and ensure they have the means to get home safely.
Officers say they want residents to enjoy making the most of pubs and bars reopening, but are urging people to be respectful and remember to stick to social distancing and hygiene rules as the virus has not gone away.
They are also cracking down on instances of anti social behaviour and drug abuse.
Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, said: “Firstly, my thanks go to everyone who has stayed at home and allowed us to get to the stage where we can see our communities come back to life, albeit still with some restrictions.
“We understand that it has been difficult for many people both in terms of health concerns and economic concerns. As we see our high streets, communities and now licenced venues open up again, we urge people to drink responsibly and respect local residents and their peace and quiet. Licensees have had a very difficult few months, please don’t make things worse for your favourite pub or bar by risking their licence through antisocial behaviour or worse.
“Please plan ahead, enjoy our new semblance of freedom and keep in mind the sacrifices that were made to get us to this point.”
Harrogate Borough Council has confirmed that it will deploy staff to signpost diners and drinkers and to check that premises are following Government guidance.
It comes after ‘ambassadors’ were stationed in the district’s town centres when non-essential shops reopened last month.
A council spokesman said: “We’ve had staff out and about since before non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen and we provided support for them to prepare their businesses to trade.
“We’re providing the same support to hospitality business.”
Businesses have been advised to operate at reduced capacities and either run an online booking service or a first-come-first-served policy to limit numbers.
Table service is also suggested for all venues.
In other safety measures, social distancing signs and directions depicting safer routes have been put up around Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.
Businesses have also been sent ‘toolkits’ including signage and checklists to help them make sure they are doing everything they can to maintain social distancing between customers.
Temporary barriers have also been installed on some streets to widen footpaths for social distancing.
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