York’s post-curfew crowd singalong makes national headlines – as city police and council react

27 Sep 2020 @ 4.22 pm
| News

York is in the national spotlight after newspapers picked up on the video of a post-curfew singalong in the city centre last night (Saturday).

As YorkMix reported this morning, the video – shot by Joshua Murphy – shows a large crowd gathering minutes after the pubs closed in accordance with the new 10pm curfew.

They sing and dance, continuing even after a police van arrives at the scene on Church Street.

Now the scenes have made it to the front page of the Mail Online, which features a prominent picture of the York crowds over its splash headine ‘Carnage At Curfew’.

The footage and stills were also featured in The Sun.

It comes as both City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police responded to the scenes, which have now been viewed more than 940K times.

‘Stay in your group’

The crowds of people in York city centre last night. Photograph: Joshua Murphy on Facebook

This afternoon, police released a statement explaining their actions.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “When dealing with the public, our officers adopt the four Es approach; engage, explain, encourage and as a last resort will use enforcement.

“In this case, officers attended the scene and encouraged the group to disperse. No arrests were made and the group was dispersed by 10.27pm.

“Everyone needs to be mindful of the risks associated by not social distancing, and we would continue to ask everyone to work together in order to keep people across the city of York safe”.

Meanwhile Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and planning for York council, said: “The businesses and residents of York have done so much this year to limit the number of coronavirus cases and we are all very grateful for that.

“However the virus is still here and cases locally and across the country are rising. Scenes like this put us all at greater risk and give the virus the chance to easily spread, and increases the likelihood of further restrictions which could close down many businesses.

“We will work with partners from across the city such as the Police, Make it York, the York BID and York Retail Forum to ensure that scenes like these aren’t a regular occurrence and people can support our local businesses in a way that is safe and that won’t spread the virus.

Cllr Andrew Waller

“If out in town until the pub curfew then we would ask people to not congregate in large groups whilst making their way home and stay in their group (of up to 6).

“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the virus, keeping people safe and the places we love open.”

He urged everyone to:

  • wash our hands regularly
  • wear a face covering in busy public spaces
  • keep 2m apart from others
  • self-isolate and request a test if you have symptoms.

“Together we can get through this but we all need to look after each other and remember ‘Hands. Face. Space’ to stop the spread of the virus.”