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Bad behaviour triggers one Stratford pub closure as drinkers return

The Golden Bee in Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.Photo: Mark Williamson
The Golden Bee in Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.Photo: Mark Williamson

Stratford stayed largely trouble free when pubs re-opened on Saturday, though one venue had to close when customers refused to follow social distancing rules.

On the whole the vast majority of people behaved responsibly over the weekend, but officers were forced to respond to some incidents across the county.

In Stratford officers were called to the Golden Bee on Sheep Street on Saturday, where a group of customers were refusing to social distance and would not listen to directions from staff.

When the group refused to leave the pub, operated by Wetherspoon, the manager decided to close the venue.

The group left when police officers attended.

Wetherspoon spokesperson, Eddie Gershon, said: “A large group of people gathered in the pub.

“We were unaware that they were part of the large group at the time, as they came into the pub a couple of people at a time.

“They were refusing to adhere to social distancing and threatening the management and staff on duty so the managers refused them service. However they still refused to disperse.

“As a result the mangers closed the pub and asked everyone to leave.

“This was unfortunate for all of our other customers who were well behaved, but it was the right decision.

“We remained closed until 8am on Sunday when the pub reopened.

“It is important to stress that the police did not close the pub, and it was closed by our managers.”

Outside of Stratford, eight Warwickshire Police officers were assaulted while responding to incidents, though none were seriously injured.

Chief Superintendent, Ben Smith, said: “As we expected, the vast majority of people who went out over the weekend behaved responsibly and we’d like to thank them.

“There’s no doubt it was a busy weekend for officers across the whole county but despite some isolated incidents people were generally well behaved at licensed premises.

“I’d also like to thank owners and staff at pubs and bars. It has been a particularly tough few months for their businesses but most have worked exceptionally hard to ensure their premises were safe to welcome back customers.

“There were unfortunately a number of officers assaulted in drunken incidents over the weekend and we will be looking to deal with those responsible in a robust manner.”

Further addressing the assaults on officers, he added: “As police officers we accept we will be asked to put ourselves in harm’s way to protect the public. This doesn’t mean they expect to be targeted with violence and abuse.

“Most have families who they say goodbye to before every shift not knowing what they are going to face over the coming hours. Like everyone else they have a right to work in a safe environment and should know they can return to their families safe and uninjured at the end of a shift.

“Where people think it is acceptable to be violent towards officers we will look to use the full force of the law to bring them to justice.”

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