Top cop warns police 'haven't gone soft' and WILL arrest violent louts on Super Saturday

A POLICE chief has warned cops haven't gone soft – and insisted violent lager louts will be arrested on Super Saturday.

Met Police head Cressida Dick has vowed to crackdown on violence after a wave of clashes with officers in recent weeks.

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And she warned troublemakers they will be arrested as millions are expected to flood pubs on Saturday when they reopen for the first time in three months.

The commissioner told the Daily Express: "Some people might say we have been heavy handed and some not firm enough, but I utterly reject that we have gone soft. We are definitely not soft.

"They are absolutely in the minority, but there are far too many people who don't have respect for authority in general and there are people who will be rude or worse – vicious and violent – to all kinds of people, including my officers, and engage in aggressive disorder. It is not acceptable and they should expect to face the consequences.

"Cracking down on violent crime is my number one priority.

"You will see a lot of police officers out and about next weekend, but there will be many more you will not see, and they will be ready should there be violence or disorder.

"If the public are out of order we will be there, we will arrest people, and we will bring them to court if they have committed a crime."

SUPER SATURDAY FEARS

Police forces are now readying themselves for Super Saturday as cooped-up Brits venture to the pub for the first time since coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Some are now cancelling lieu days and annual holiday for officers over fears the night could descend into chao.

Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, said: "I have taken the decision to cancel all officer leave, something my officers have accepted as necessary to ensure our communities are safe as we move into the next phase of lockdown easing.

"Northamptonshire Police will have significantly more officers on duty over the weekend and my brief to them has been clear and unambiguous – to work with communities and revellers, to do all they can to ensure events pass off peacefully.

"But they will not hesitate to intervene and arrest those who are clearly intent on causing trouble and misery."

SUMMER OF DISCONTENT

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said officers had been put on alert ahead of the weekend.

He warned boozers it is not going to be "open warfare" and urged revellers to act responsibly.

The top cop added: "There is a lot of apprehension about this weekend. Many forces have cancelled leave applications and rest days, and have officers working extended shifts.

"I don't think we can overprepare because I just don't know how the public is going to react."

The warning comes after a summer of discontent in London saw more than 140 police officers injured as fed-up Brits partied in the street.

Thugs threw bottles at cops in "vicious" scenes in Brixton – injuring 22 officers – on Wednesday while riot cops were again pelted with missiles in Notting Hill on Thursday.

Over the weekend, hundreds gathered for illegal raves in Clapham and Tooting Bec for a forth night of chaos.

It came 24 hours after illegal street parties were broken up in Kensal Green, Newham and Maida Vale with seven people arrested after police were pelted with objects.

Officers also broke up another rave in Tottenham, North London.

And the week before, 38 officers were injured in the "indefensible hooliganism" in demonstrations against the Black Lives Matter movement.

The carnage caused Priti Patel to urge police chiefs to take a tougher stance against rioters.

The Home Secretary stepped in to hold urgent talks with Dame Cressida amid rising alarm at violence in the capital. 

Ms Patel later tweeted: "Violence we are seeing is appalling. The police have my full backing in tackling criminality & enforcing the law – criminals will face consequences."

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