POLICE will be keeping up an increased presence across key locations in Cheshire over the second weekend since pubs, bars and restaurants reopened.

Officers hailed a relatively peaceful return for nightlife last weekend, when just 10 arrests were made across the county in connection to the nighttime economy.

And residents are being urged to enjoy themselves safely again this weekend.

Supt Julie Westgate said: "The reopening of licensed premises here in Cheshire went smoothly thanks to both the licensees and those who attended, and we are hoping it will be the same situation this weekend.

"While the coronavirus restrictions have recently been eased and we are all trying to get back to some sense of normality, the virus has not gone away and it’s essential that residents remain vigilant, act responsibly and doing everything they can to stay safe.

"This isn’t about trying to spoil the fun. We know it’s been tough and we want everyone to have a good time, but please do so safely."

The 10 arrests last weekend included two for drink driving in Northwich and Wilmslow.

There was also one for a serious assault outside a pub in Warrington, as well as drunk and disorderly behaviour in Nantwich and Macclesfield, while two pubs in Crewe and Sandbach were advised to close for flouting Covid-19 guidelines.

Supt Westgate added: “Officers will be patrolling key locations and we will be dealing with any incidents of crime and disorder if they arise. We will also be working closely with our authority partners, who will address any licensing issues.

“We will continue to use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.

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“I’d like to remind people that we cannot enforce social distancing by law, and so we are relying on your good nature to follow the guidance and keep everyone safe.

“Keep in mind the purpose of the remaining regulations and the national effort and, by following the guidance and working together, we can all help to protect the NHS and save lives.”

David Keane, Cheshire's police and crime commissioner, added: “The vast majority of Cheshire residents have followed the government’s advice over the past few months and it was pleasing to see that the initial reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants passed relatively peacefully last weekend. I hope that this continues.

“The chief constable has assured me that his officers and police staff will be available to ensure people can enjoy their weekend safely but it’s important that Cheshire residents continue to stay alert to the threat of the virus and continue to follow social distancing measures put in place to protect us.”