New Year’s Eve celebrations message from Merseyside Police

On New Year’s Eve, Merseyside Police is urging communities across the region to celebrate sensibly, to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to stay safe.

Superintendent Chris Joughin said, “We understand that New Year’s Eve is normally a time to celebrate with family, friends and colleagues, and we share the frustrations that a lot of people feel at the moment in not being able to do so.

“However, it’s as vital as ever that the sacrifices made by the vast majority of people in 2020 continue into 2021, so we can prevent any more increases in cases across Merseyside, which put lives and livelihoods at risk.

“We’re still in the very early stages of vaccines being given to the most vulnerable so while there is hope ahead, there is no room for complacency. Merseyside as a region has made so much progress in recent weeks, both in testing and tiers.

“As announced yesterday, Merseyside is now again in Tier 3, which will be bring further restrictions and we know how hard that will be. But with patience and selflessness, we will make it through the next few months and see those most at risk being made safe once again.

“Ahead of tonight, we’re urging people to know what the regulations are and make sensible plans around them. Bars and restaurants will not be open, other than for businesses offering delivery or collection, and people are not permitted to gather indoors with others who are not in their household or support bubble.

“While Christmas Day saw a brief relaxation of these rules, there will be no repeat at New Year, particularly in light or rising numbers of cases. If you live in another Tier 3 or a Tier 4 area, please do not travel into Merseyside at all, unless absolutely necessary for work, education, medical or care reasons. Although non-essential shops in Merseyside remain open, this is not an invitation for those who live in Tier 4 areas to come into Merseyside to do their shopping. Shop online when possible and please do any essential shopping close to home, to minimise the risk of spreading this virus.

“We will continue working with law enforcement agencies and partners to ensure we have a visible presence on our streets, on our roads and at our train stations to encourage people to adhere to the guidelines and legislation around non-essential travel and take enforcement action where necessary. Officers will be patrolling all of our communities in increased numbers, to ensure that all reports are dealt with, and the safety of our residents remains the priority as ever.

“Unfortunately, we have seen some incidents over the Christmas period in which house parties and gatherings have been broken up and fines issued, including incidents in Sutton Leach in St Helens, and at a Liverpool City Centre bar. We will continue to respond to reports and enforce legislation, as these thoughtless and selfish actions have a massive impact on all of us.

“We’ll also have an increased police presence tonight to deal with any other issues, targeting the minority of people who would look to commit crime and cause harm in our communities, whether through the theft of people’s belongings or committing violent offences, but we also want people to take responsibility for themselves. This can be an extremely busy night for all emergency services, who need to be able to respond quickly to life-threatening incidents as a priority.”