Police say they are fighting to enforce the 10pm curfew in the pub, despite scientific criticism making the situation worse.
National Police Federation chairman John Apter said officers have had difficulty dispersing large crowds since the 10pm rule was introduced a few days ago.
His warning came after large crowds gathered on the streets of cities over the weekend when the curfew started at 10 p.m. in pubs.
Several scholars have also raised questions about the wisdom of the curfew.
“You may only have one or two people on a busy main street by 10pm when hundreds and hundreds of people are taking to the streets,” Apter told BBC Radio 4 today.
“My colleagues will do their best to encourage and force people to keep going, but it’s really difficult.
“All you need is a hostile group to turn against these officials and the city center resources have been used up for this one incident.”
Professor Susan Michie, member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), said it was always “predictable” that throwing people onto the street at the same time would lead to the formation of crowds.
Prof. Michie, a behavioral scientist at University College London, said it was “particularly worrying” that people are being squeezed in confined spaces in public transport and that it was “of the utmost importance” that ministers listen to scientific advice.
“These effects of the curfew undermine the profits saved by shortening the latter part of the evening and can even be counterproductive,” she said.
‘The measure is another example of a restriction put in place with a coherent strategy and without sufficient consultation of relevant experts and communities.’
Professor Robert Dingwall, a sociologist who also advises the government, said this was another example of “patrician policymaking”.
“When was the last time any of those involved in this decision was in a downtown pub?” He asked.
“The contempt for the night pub reflects the puritanical public health impact that has sparked so many interventions.
“Anyone with a basic understanding of sociology, anthropology, social law studies, or criminology would have predicted the transport chaos described by Andy Burnham – and the street festivals we saw elsewhere.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said there was an urgent need to review the 10pm curfew.
He warned that he had received reports of supermarkets “packed to the rafters” after they closed on Saturday and people rushing to buy more alcohol so they could keep drinking.
And he said the curfew could “do more harm than good”.
There were several reports of large crowds on the streets over the weekend after the 10 p.m. curfew forced pubs to close their doors.
Der Spiegel Online A BBC reporter described Oxford Circus as a “spontaneous party” when night owls suddenly took to the streets.
Charlie Haynes’ clip featured large crowds mingling, screaming, and drinking, apparently in violation of social distancing guidelines.
And on the tubes, people were seen packed shoulder to shoulder as they went home early due to the new 10pm rule.
The Manchester evening news reported that large crowds fell on the street over the weekend when the curfew saw them en masse at 10 p.m.
And Mr Burnham said the early shutdown resulted in people rushing to get off licenses after the 10pm deadline.
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The times reported that he proposed a ban on alcohol sales in stores at 9 p.m.
He told the Today program, “I received reports that the supermarkets were crowded with people gathering. I think there is an urgent need to review emerging evidence from police forces across the country.
“My gut feeling is that this curfew does more harm than good.
“It creates an incentive for people to gather in the street, or rather at home.
“This is the opposite of what our local restrictions are trying to do here. I don’t think this has been fully thought out. ”
Others in the scientific community have also questioned the curfew.
Professor Graham Medley, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) committee, said the group had never spoken about the impact of policies on infection rates.
He said, “I never discussed or heard it.”
His wise colleague, Professor John Edmunds, also previously said the curfew was “fairly trivial” and had “very little effect on the epidemic”.
Health Minister Helen Whately said the government must act to combat rising infection rates.
“It’s clearly early,” she told the Today program.
“We changed that rule last week.
“We are open to how we can best proceed.
“The steps we took, particularly with the 10pm curfew, we took over the summer in a few places where localized outbursts and hospitality were part of the picture.
“We’re always learning and seeing what has the biggest impact, but we clearly need to take a step because we’ve seen rates rise across the country.”
The 10 p.m. curfew was partly inspired by the example of Belgium, where a widespread curfew at 10 p.m. is said to have a significant impact on infection rates.
At a press conference earlier this month, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the curfew in Belgium, along with other measures, had been effective.
He said, “What you can see is that we are following a pattern very similar to that of France and in France that rate has continued to rise.
“That also applies to Spain
“But the same kind of graph was produced in Belgium, but then they took decisive action and by that point the rates stabilized and began to decline.
“It’s a clear indication that there is a good chance of getting rates back under control if you act quickly and decisively when these changes take place.”