Police 'will break up parties at Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali'

A top police officer fears civil unrest across the UK as he warns parties will be broken up during Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali.

David Jamieson, the West Midlands police and crime commissioner, said officers will investigate reports made of rule-breaking during any festive celebrations.

‘If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene,’ he told the Telegraph.

‘If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.

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‘It’s not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas. However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules then the Government has to explain that to the public.’

Areas in the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, are currently in tier two which means people cannot mix with any other households or indoors.

His comments suggest there will be no relaxation of the rules over Christmas, despite hints from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the rule of six may be suspended for the day to allow a ‘normal’ holiday.

The police and crime commissioner for Merseyside, Jane Kennedy, confirmed police forces in the North West would also investigate reports of rule-breaking.

Merseyside is currently under tier three restrictions as the level of risk of coronavirus is considered ‘very high’.

Mr Jamieson also fears civil unrest in the West Midlands in the near future with anti-lockdown protests and the end of the furlough scheme.

‘We’re sitting on a time bomb here,’ he added.

‘We’re getting very near the stage where you could see a considerable explosion of frustration and energy. Things are very on the edge in a lot of communities and it wouldn’t take very much to spark off unrest, riots, damage.’

He said officers being heavy-handed in shutting down celebrations could trigger the violence, and could cause people to become involved in crime who never would have before.

The police chief even feared a similar situation to the 2011 riots sparked by the death of Mark Duggan, which saw violence spread across UK cities.

It comes after riots have erupted in European cities, particularly in Rome, Milan and Turin in Italy.

Mr Jamieson thinks forces in Manchester, London and Merseyside are concerned about similar potential violence. But Ms Kennedy disagreed and does not think there will be disorder.

A recent report suggests all of England could be placed under tier three restrictions by mid-December.

The Sun says it has seen modelling from Government scientists that shows more than 25,000 people will be in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November.

That is higher than the spring peak, raising doubts about the likelihood of a reprieve from curbs over the festive period.

Members of SAGE, the Government’s scientific advisory body, are reportedly warning that by December, virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas in the north already put into the ‘very high’ category.

Those living in Scotland have already been told to prepare for a ‘digital Christmas’.

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