Police Commissioner Warns Large Gatherings That Break Covid Rules Will Be Split This Christmas
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Police say they will intervene and break up large gatherings over the festive period if rules are being broken.
David Jamieson, the West Midlands police and crime commissioner, has come out and explained that rule-breaking reports will be investigated over Christmas.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Jamieson said: "If we think there's large groups of people gathering where they shouldn't be, then police will have to intervene.
"If, again, there's flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce. It's not the police's job to stop people enjoying their Christmas.
"However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules, then the Government has to explain that to the public."
He went on to add that he thinks the Covid rules could lead to violent outbreaks as people start to boil over and are pushed over the edge with the furlough scheme.
He went on: "We're sitting on a time bomb here. We're getting very near the stage where you could see a considerable explosion of frustration and energy.
"Things are very on the edge in a lot of communities and it wouldn't take very much to spark off unrest, riots, damage."
The update comes after numerous Christmas events were cancelled, including the Manchester Christmas Markets.
With a 'very unusual Christmas in Manchester' expected, organisers say they plan to 'brighten up' the city with lighting attractions throughout the city centre instead.
Originally, a scaled-back version had been proposed, instead of the larger annual event. However, this did not meet public health approval, with Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester's Christmas spokesperson, saying the council 'could never take any risks' with people's wellbeing.
He said in a statement: "We've cancelled everything. It's not met our commercial and public health tests, so the three markets in those locations have been cancelled, and won't take place.
"It was a million miles from the traditional Christmas Markets, which obviously people would have been very anxious about.
"Wall-to-wall markets was never part of our planning on it, we're not that daft. The health of all of us, we could never take any risks with that.
"It's going to be a very unusual Christmas in Manchester but what we're going to do is put up additional lighting through the city centre and more static lighting attractions."
This year's Christmas lights switch-on event, New Year's Eve fireworks and Bonfire Night celebrations have also been called off.