Police have gained more power to disperse crowds in Liverpool after part of the Liver Building caught fire amid wild celebrations of the city’s Premier League triumph.
Merseyside police issued a section 34 dispersal order for the city center – allowing officers to separate groups of more than two people – until Sunday.
The Liverpool Echo released a video that appeared to show glass bottles being thrown at the police. A police spokesman was unable to confirm that bottles had been thrown or the number of people arrested, but said there had been “a major disturbance” overnight.
One of the videos also appeared to show fireworks at the Liver Building.
Four fire trucks were dispatched to the building, where they put out a fire on a balcony, said a spokesperson for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. The extent of the damage was not known.
Photos earlier showed fans gathering in the city center on Friday despite police and politicians warning them that the coronavirus was still a “major risk”.
He followed the supporters into the area around the Anfield stadium on Thursday evening when Liverpool won the title as the final whistle blew in the match between Chelsea and Manchester City.
Merseyside police on Friday night expected people to come together to mark Liverpool as the English champion for the first time since 1990, but had warned fans to await the official celebrations.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said on Twitter that he was “genuinely concerned” about the crowd on Friday evening, but said the council had no power to disperse the meeting.
He said, “I appreciate that the LFC fans want to celebrate but please, for your own safety and that of others, come home and celebrate at home.
“Covid-19 is still a major risk and our city has already lost far too many people due to the disease.”
Anderson, who called Anfield’s Thursday scenes “disappointing,” said an official victory parade would take place once he was “really safe.”
Liverpool city council said alternative plans were underway to mark this achievement “appropriately” at the end of the season in July. Police said Merseyside still has a disproportionately high number of coronavirus cases compared to other parts of the country.
Merseyside Deputy Chief Constable Jon Roy said, “We understand that people want to celebrate Liverpool by becoming Premier League champions for the first time in 30 years, and the time will come when fans can celebrate. together with the team and applaud their success, but now is not this time.
“Please follow the advice of the players, the manager and the club, prioritizing safety. The club encourages fans to share their experiences of watching future home games with the hashtag LFCAtHome on social media, and we are all looking forward to sharing your experiences of celebrating safely. ”