The organisers of the Bristol “mass gathering” being advertised would be “the first ones to get a ticket”, a police chief has said.
Posters circulating on social media have encouraged people to gather in Brandon Hill and Victoria Park on Saturday (May 16), but police say anyone who goes will be “putting people at risk”.
Mr Marsh said: “We would expect to be called and we would obviously respond to that mass gathering.
“We hope the public will continue to show the restraint and cooperation they have endeavoured to do over the last seven weeks.”
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He revealed officers would use the “four Es” approach – engage with the public, explain the rules, encourage them to comply and enforce as a last resort.
“If they were ignoring then we would, as we have done on many occasions, give them a ticket,” Mr Marsh added.
Asked how they would deal with the organisers, the chief constable replied: “They would be the first ones to get a ticket.”
He said police did their best to disperse people at an anti-lockdown protest in Glastonbury last month.
“The first people who got tickets – there were tickets, and there were two arrests – were the people organising it and being the most difficult,” Mr Marsh said.
A caller from Thornbury asked Mr Marsh why police had not “fined and made an example” of people involved in a recent house party.
The chief constable said he was not aware of the incident, but reiterated the importance of the four Es.
He added: “If we had gone in heavy-handed with enforcement on every opportunity, we would have driven a wedge between ourselves and the community, who are having a pretty difficult time as we recognise.
“We’re trying to use common sense, sound judgement and discretion in the best traditions of British policing.”
Mr Marsh said while some people think officers have not been tough enough on enforcement, others see them as a “totalitarian police state”.
“Be assured the officers are doing their best under very difficult circumstances,” he said.
The chief constable said there had been 20,850 reports of breaches and 325 fines issued in the Avon and Somerset area as of this morning.