As bars and restaurants opened across Bristol for the first time in more than three months, “a significant policing plan” was put in place.
Avon & Somerset Police said that they prevented “multiple” unlicensed music events and disrupted several large gatherings across the force area over the weekend, with “no significant” incidents of disorder.
Superintendent Mark Edgington said: “We worked tirelessly during the past week and throughout the weekend with our local authority partners and local businesses to ensure people were able to enjoy their first night out in months safely.
“The vast majority of people behaved responsibly and we’d like to thank them for ensuring the reopening of the nighttime economy did not lead to any significant incidents.”
When it was suspected a rave was about to take place, officers seized equipment to prevent it from happening, marking a shift in tactics from June when police were forced to apologise for not stopping a large street party in Stokes Croft before it got underway.
Incidents prevented or disrupted included:
- An unlicensed music event which was about to take place in an industrial unit in Warmley. Officers prevented approximately 1,000 people from entering the building and seized a vehicle and sound equipment.
- An unlicensed music event on Winkworth Place in St Paul’s. Officers persuaded the event organisers to pack up their equipment without playing any music.
- A gathering on Grosvenor Road and on Grosvenor Green in St Paul’s. “Members of the community were encouraging social distancing,” police said. “But when officers became concerned the crowd was becoming too large they asked for the sound system to be switched off which the organisers did instantly.”
- A report of loud music and a gathering of people on Brook Road in Montpelier. “Officers spoke with the occupants of a house who agreed to turn the music off. Unfortunately we were called back to the same street a few hours later to reports of approximately 50 people standing in the street, shouting and playing music. Officers returned and the group were dispersed from the area within 10 minutes.”
- An unlicensed music event in Mina Road Park in Werburgh’s on Sunday was attended by around 50 people. Officers negotiated with organisers who agreed to end the event at 6pm.
Main photo of Mina Road Park by Galliard Homes