Young’s boss accuses police of ‘intimidation and harassment’ in enforcing new restrictions

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Young’s boss accuses police of ‘intimidation and harassment’ in enforcing new restrictions

Related tags: Coronavirus tier system, Pubs, Scotch egg, Police

Police have been accused of ‘overzealous’ enforcement of Tier 2 restrictions in pubs, with landlords reporting officers arguing over ‘substantial meal’ regulations and throwing out customers after they finished eating.

According to The Telegraph​, Young's chief executive Patrick Dardis said officers in London on Wednesday (2 December) told customers to leave pub premises as soon as they had finished their meals, preventing them from ordering more drinks.

It is also reported that police visited premises to argue over the regulations - insisting that scotch eggs could not be considered a ‘substantial meal’ that allows punters to order alcohol.

Dardis said: “As if we haven't got enough to contend with we have had some overzealous officials going into pubs unnecessarily and it's a bit intimidating for customers.

"This whole petty argument about a Scotch egg, whether it is or whether it isn't [a substantial meal] is not relevant. What it actually means is a table meal, a substantial meal is just made up nonsense.

"It's unnecessary and unhelpful given the problems that the sector has had to deal with over the past months and the amount of money we have spent creating secure and safe environments.”

Dardis emailed all Young’s staff after the incidents, reporting ‘intimidation, bordering on harassment’ from officials in some of its pubs.

Government restrictions demanding pubs operating in Tier 2 areas only open if they’re able to serve food has left the Government scrambling to explain what constitutes a ‘substantial meal’ this week​, with cabinet ministers George Eustice, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock all suggesting that a scotch egg would count as a meal under the regulations.

Guidance for police by the National Police Chiefs’ Council says police should only deal with breaches of the rules in pubs and restaurants ‘as a last resort’ if they fail to convince people to follow them.

Related topics: Business

Related news

Spotlight

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers

Free Email Newsletter

Subscribe to BigHospitality

The trusted industry reference point

Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox!