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West Midlands PCC: 'No appetite to break up minor Christmas parties'

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image captionA government minister earlier warned people might not be able to gather in larger groups at Christmas

There is "no appetite" for the police to break up minor Christmas parties over the festive period, a police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

David Jamieson, PCC for West Midlands Police, said he would be "very surprised" if police broke up "minor infringements".

Earlier in the week a government minister warned people might not be able to get together in larger groups.

Mr Jamieson said "discretion" is needed in policing.

Speaking at the weekly West Midlands Combined Authority's media briefing, he said: "The policing is always proportionate, and there has to be discretion.

"Is there an appetite, or the resources, to be breaking up Christmas parties and minor infringements of the law? I very, very much doubt it, and I'd be very surprised if that was happening."

image captionPCC David Jamieson said he does not want "heavy-handed policing"

Mr Jamieson said he would expect police to "step in and enforce the law" where there are larger gatherings of about 30 or 40 people who are "clearly, flagrantly ignoring" the rules.

"So for the minor infringements, there just will not be the time or scope to do it - that's not what the police do in this country," reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"But we are very clear, where people are ignoring the laws and putting themselves and the community at risk, we will step in and take action."

He added that he did not want "heavy-handed policing" and wants people to enjoy Christmas.

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