A TEENAGER was arrested for assaulting a police officer in the street where more than 100 people had gathered after a night out.

Police were called to the incident on Wellgate in Clitheroe at 1am about groups of people congregating after visiting bars and pubs.

Duty Inspector Chris Valentine said: "We had reports of more than 100 people drinking in the street and when they arrived we observed there was no social distancing.

"There were multiple incidents of public disorder and police pressed their emergency call buttons on their radio to get more officers to attend.

"An officer was assaulted and punched in the arm and a 17-year-old is in custody for the offence.

"There will be a number of licensing referrals passed onto the council.

"People need to realise restrictions are still in place and even if people go out they have to observe the guidelines about social distancing which was not happening on Sunday morning.

"It is down to the pubs to take on board their responsibilities of how they manage people leaving their businesses.

"We come in for criticism for every call about reacting to complaints over lockdown but this is one of the reasons why we can't attend because we are getting resources from elsewhere to deal with this.

"It is not acceptable an officer being assaulted trying to carry out duties."

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans was shocked by the news.

He said: "I hope the youth who assaulted the officer is speedily brought to justice.

"The police are there to protect us and do not deserve to be attacked.

"Unless we learn the lessons of other neighbouring areas - particularly on large gatherings in public places then we risk spreading the virus to loved ones - and having the lockdown reimposed on Clitheroe.

"I know it’s hot but you can still enjoy the weather within the health guidelines, which are there to protect communities."

Cllr Stephen Atkinson, leader of Ribble Valley Council said: "It is shocking, people need to improve their behaviour.

"One of the problem in Ribble Valley is that we don't have a police station with a front desk so to have resources coming from other areas is bad.

"Ribble Valley has one of the lowest infection rates in the area and we want to keep it that way."