Isaacs call police after quayside drinkers cause chaos outside bar

Police patrolled the waterfront on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Police patrolling the waterfront on Saturday afternoon, hours later officers were called to disperse drinkers - Credit: Sarah Luc Brown

Dispersal orders were issued to revellers who were drinking on Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday night after failing to get into any of the popular quayside bars.

Staff from Isaacs on the Quay called in police to help manage the situation opposite their bar and made the decision to close at 9.15pm - despite it being their first Saturday trading after lockdown was eased.

There have been queues outside the popular venue all week following the easing of lockdown restrictions, but last night groups were told not to join the queue as the bar had reached capacity early on and would not be allowing anyone else in to their al fresco drinking area.

A spokesman for Isaacs said that people then purchased drinks elsewhere and were drinking on the quayside opposite their entrance.

He said it was impossible to control and added "it was not our queue" and they therefore "couldn't do anything about it".

He continued: "Our queue was very small at the end of the day because we stopped people joining us. We wouldn't allow people to drink in our queue."

Police arrived and the spokesman praised them for dealing with the situation efficiently.

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"They put dispersal orders on people outside the queue," said the spokesman. 

"I think 95% of people went. Some people hung around in the hope they could get into our queue."

The spokesman said that the pub had offered to shut at this point but they had been told by police that the dispersal orders would suffice. 

Drinkers already seated were allowed to stay but later in the evening staff took the decision to close anyway avoid any further issues.

"Eventually we decided about 9.15pm to call last orders and give people time to drink up," said the spokesman. 

He said that he believed the situation could have been worse if they hadn't shut when they did. 

"We had planned to stay open until at least 11pm but we thought that was enough."

Now staff are thinking ahead to next weekend and reconsidering their plans in a bid to avoid any further problems with social distancing in the vicinity of the bar.

"We will think about it again before next week," said the spokesman. 

Suffolk police confirmed they had attended the pub on Saturday night and helped to disperse people. 

Superintendent Simon Mills praised the actions of Isaacs staff in dealing with those outside. 

"They’ve done a really good job of trying to manage it,” he said.

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