Police warn there are 'not enough officers' to cope with Independence Day chaos

Police warn there are 'not enough officers' to cope with Independence Day chaos: Top officer says 'perfect storm' of unlocking stir-crazy Brits and letting them straight into pubs on a Saturday will cause dangerous 'carnival' on July 4

  • Police Federation in England and Wales chairman said Boris Johnson has created a 'countdown to carnival'

  • John Apter warned there are 'not enough' officers to cope with potential carnage on 'Super Saturday' July 4

  • Intervention comes as Government announced plans to stir UK out of 'hibernation' and restart the economy

Police have warned that there are 'not enough' officers to cope with potential carnage on July 4 as thousands of stir-crazy Britons are expected to rush to pubs on 'Super Saturday'.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales, said Boris Johnson's decision to reopen pubs on a Saturday has created a 'countdown to carnival'.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World At One Programme, he said police would be left to 'pick up the pieces' as pubs turn rowdy and warned that the Government had created a 'perfect storm'.

Green MP Caroline Lucas joined the Police Federation in raising the alarm over the decision to ease lockdown restrictions on July 4, saying she thought police had been put in an 'impossible position'.

'I think this is really difficult for the police,' Ms Lucas told the World At One Programme. 'Something as simple as not announcing it on a Saturday with huge fanfare would have helped I think.'

Mr Apter's intervention follows the Government's announcing of plans this week to stir Britain out of 'hibernation' and restart the engines of UK plc after weeks of economic inactivity.

It also comes as police officers were hounded and injured last night after two parties in Brighton and Brixton, south London, spiralled out of control and descended into violence.

Mr Apter told the BBC's World At One Programme: 'My colleagues are doing their absolute best, there are not enough of us - I've said that for a number of years - and the challenges are increasing.

'They are going to get even more difficult on July 4 when the lockdown is eased even further and that's a big concern to me and policing, and it should be for the NHS and wider because to ease the lockdown - which I completely understand, businesses have to survive and the economy must grow and I accept that - but to announce this easing of lockdown on a Saturday has created almost a countdown to carnival.

'I am deeply concerned we are going to see real big problems on that day when people are trying to get into pubs and bars and restaurants, drinking - alcohol causes an awful lot of problems for us to have to try and pick up the pieces. This is on top of the frustration that people are feeling.'

He added: 'It is a perfect storm but not in a good way, I have to say.'

Last night, 22 officers were injured as police tried to break up a street party in Brixton which turned violent as fighting broke out between hundreds of revellers - before they turned on the officers.

Shocking videos posted to social media show rioters screaming 'run them out' as outnumbered police fled, while Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick were criticised for 'losing control of the streets'.

Police had to break up a huge Brighton seafront party yesterday, sending hundreds of youngsters home after scuffles broke out. Ten police vehicles were called to Hove Lawns amid reports of 'pockets' of violence. The youths chanted at the officers, with eyewitnesses calling it 'a stand-off between hundreds of youths and police'.

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