A MAN was arrested after a serious assault outside a pub during the first weekend that bars were allowed to reopen.

Cheshire Police says that the Saturday and Sunday ‘passed relatively peacefully’, with 10 arrests across the county linked to the night-time economy.

These included a suspect being held after a serious assault outside a public house on London Road in Stockton Heath shortly before 11pm on Saturday, July 4.

Officers were called to reports of an altercation between two men, with one of the pair - aged 25 - having suffered an injury to his face.

A 23-year-old man, from Warrington, was arrested at the scene in connection with the incident but he has since been released without charge.

Other arrests elsewhere in Cheshire were made on suspicion of drink driving and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

And two pubs in Crewe and Sandbach were shut down as they were ‘not adhering’ to social distancing measures.

Superintendent Julie Westgate said: “There has been lots of coverage regarding the reopening of licenced premises from July 4 and fortunately here in Cheshire this passed relatively peacefully.

“While there were a small number of isolated incidents linked to the night-time economy, the overwhelming majority of people behaved responsibly and adhered to the Covid-19 restrictions that remain in place.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped to play their part in continuing in keeping the people of Cheshire safe.

“It was also encouraging to see the measures put in place by Cheshire licensees to keep their customers as safe as possible.”

Cheshire Police set up a dedicated operation over the weekend in response to pubs and restaurants reopening, with an increased presence ‘at a number of key locations’.

Police and crime commissioner David Keane said: “The past few months have been an extremely difficult time for many local business, including licenced premises, so it’s pleasing to see that the weekend passed without any serious incidents here in Cheshire.

“I would like to thank all of the officers who were involved in the policing operation, as well as all the licensees for their support.

“As coronavirus restrictions evolve over the coming weeks and months, it is important to remember that the threat of coronavirus has not gone away and while pubs and restaurants are reopening things will not simply go back to normal straight away.

“It is important that Cheshire residents continue to stay alert to the threat of the virus and continue to follow social distancing measures put in place to protect us.”

Supt Westgate added: “Following the operation this weekend and as the situation evolves regarding coronavirus, we will continue to monitor what is going on nationally and what this means on a local level here in Cheshire.

“Our officers will use common sense and discretion when dealing with the public to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and only as a last resort enforcing.

“I would like to take this opportunity to inform people that you should only ring 999 in a genuine emergency.

“Over the weekend, we received a number of calls relating to issues which were not policing matters – including people not following the social distancing guidelines, which the police cannot enforce so are relying on your good nature to follow the guidance.

“Please remember the regulations that remain in place are to ensure the safety of the public.

“By following the guidance and working together, we can all help to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Anyone with information about the incident in Stockton Heath is urged to contact the force on 101, quoting incident number IML746638, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.