Police in Norfolk have reported a rise in alcohol-fuelled crime as night life returns, including a growing number of assaults on officers.
Pubs, bars and clubs were able to re-open after months of lockdown when national coronavirus restrictions eased on May 17.
Since then, officers have been called to increasing numbers of alcohol-related incidents across the county, including over the last Bank Holiday weekend.
Assistant Chief Constable Julie Wvendth urged people to enjoy themselves, but not to overdo it.
The majority of people had “enjoyed their new freedoms sensibly,” but police had been called to a number of incidents “largely fuelled by alcohol,” she said.
“We’ve also seen a rise in the number of officers being assaulted, with the number of incidents recorded increasing over consecutive weekends since lockdown rules were eased,” ACC Wvendth said.
There were 22 assaults over the Bank Holiday weekend, compared to 15 the previous weekend and three incidents between May 14 and 16, the figures show.
“While not all are related to the night time economy, and the majority thankfully don’t involve serious injury, this is a trend we don’t want to see.
“Officers policing the night life shouldn’t have to face violence while they’re out protecting others,” ACC Wvendth said.
Over the Bank Holiday, 16 arrests were made during public order patrols across Norfolk on the Friday and Saturday night, including two in King’s Lynn, seven in Norwich and seven in Great Yarmouth.
Police received 14, 999 calls about alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and disorder between 9pm on Friday, May 29 and 2am the next day, “stretching police resources,” a Norfolk Police spokesman said.
In Lynn, officers were called out when two people were hurt in a fight in Wootton Road, Gaywood, at 11.45pm on May 29.
Investigations into the incident continue, the spokesman said.
ACC Wvendth added: “Our plea to people heading out is to enjoy yourself, have a drink but don’t overdo it.
“I’m sure most of the people who ended up in a police cell hadn’t intended to end their night that way but we’ve all seen before that too much alcohol can have unintended consequences.”