Police busy as England goes for ‘one last drink before lockdown’

People across England hit the town for one last drink on Wednesday evening before a month-long lockdown came into force today.

And scenes became violent in Merseyside following reports police officers were attacked.

Meanwhile images appeared to show punters queuing to get into a Wetherspoon pub on Oxford Street ahead of nationwide pub closures.

People enjoying a night out before the start of the second lockdown
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

From today, all pubs restaurants and non-essential shops will remain closed until December 2 to curb the spread of coronavirus.

It meant that scores of people across the country went out for one last hurrah last night.

Revellers in Durham city centre make thier way home at around 10pm tonight after enjoying a final night out before lockdown begins.
(Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

Photos from Newcastle showed people posing in their Santa hats as they made the most of their last evening of freedom.

People out in Leeds city centre, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday
(Image: PA)

In Leeds, a man and woman were pictured enjoying a drink on a table outside a bar.

And in London, scenes showed outdoor seating packed full of people enjoying their final night out.

(Image: PA)

But emergency services also dealt with a number of incidents during Wednesday evening.

Hundreds of people gathered at a bonfire in Merseyside, where police officers and firefighters had fireworks thrown at them.

Officers were called to Meadow Crescent, Woodchurch at around 9pm, police said.

Police officers deal with a man on the ground in Newcastle, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday.
(Image: PA)

Chief inspector Gary O’Rourke said: “Not only did police and fire patrols come under attack on their arrival, which could’ve had catastrophic results, but there was a blatant disregard for Covid-19 restrictions, with hundreds of people in attendance drinking alcohol, mixing with other households and ignoring social distancing.

“We will not tolerate this behaviour and are now looking at a number of lines of enquiry, including examining footage and speaking to witnesses, to ensure robust enforcement action is taken.”

A man is led away by police officers in Birmingham
(Image: PA)

Elsewhere in the country, Sussex Police arrested two men and appealed for witnesses after another man suffered serious injuries in a fight involving around 20 people.

Revellers in Durham city centre enjoying a final night out before lockdown begins
(Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

Officers were called to Montpelier Place, Brighton, at 10.15pm.

A man is dealt with by police in Soho, London, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday
(Image: PA)

They took the victim to Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment, where he remains in a serious condition.

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Det Insp Owen Radley urged “anyone who witnessed the assault to make contact with us immediately”.

Superintendent Mike Walker, gold commander for North Yorkshire Police’s response to Covid-19, said the force would undertake extra patrols to ensure public compliance with the regulations.

Police officers lead two men away in Leeds city centre, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday.
(Image: PA)

High levels of traffic reported in London as revellers headed home, according to posts on social media.

Meanwhile, chief constables in the north-west of the country said they would target the minority of the public who flouted rules by holding large gatherings, music events and parties.

Manchester Evening News