“An unexpectedly busy night and confirmed what we knew, alcohol and social distance are not a good combination,” said John Apter, national president of the Police Federation, a union of police personnel in England and Wales.
Apter, who was serving in Southampton, England, said he and his associates had been involved in “happy drunks, angry drunks, fights” and anti-social behavior. “What was clear was that drunken people could not / would not be socially excluded,” he said.
In a Twitter post, the London Metropolitan Police called on people to “please be responsible, stay safe and follow social distances and other instructions that have been put in place” as the pubs reopen.
However, images taken Saturday night in London’s central Soho district, known for its pubs and bars, showed busy streets.
Five pubs in Nottinghamshire, in the East Midlands area of England, decided to close early after the anti-social behavior, police said, and officers made four arrests following reports of a broken window and a small attack.
However, Inspector Craig Berry thanked “the majority of the public who acted responsibly throughout Saturday.”
Devon and Cornwall police in southwest England said they had received more than 1,000 calls on Saturday from members of the public, mostly related to the “drink-related disorder”.
And in Essex, southeastern England, an officer wrote on Twitter that police had made four arrests.
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge that he was generally pleased with how he went on Saturday.
“From what I’ve seen, although there are conflicting images, to a large extent people have acted responsibly and this balanced message is so important. People need to enjoy the summer safely,” he said on Sunday.
“You have seen from Leicester and elsewhere that we are not avoiding drastic measures if necessary to control the virus. But the overall plan has always been to lift the lock to try to lift national measures – but to be absolutely clear that we will face local outbursts when we see them. “