13 Sep Coronavirus: Large parties shut down overnight by police as people enjoy blowout weekend before new COVID rules | UK News
Police have shut down a series of illegal parties overnight as people enjoyed a final weekend of revelry before tougher coronavirus restrictions come into force.
With hours until the “rule of six” takes effect, Greater Manchester Police said it had halted illegal gatherings at properties in Altrincham and Flixton on Saturday night, along with a gathering of around 70 people in Mottram.
Fixed penalty notices were issued at each of the incidents, which breached existing bans on groups of more than 30 meeting.
Officers had earlier attended a gathering of 45 people in Stockport, and another at an address in north Manchester they had been called to on two previous occasions.
The force later said its operation targeting large gatherings had received 56 reports of breaches last night and issued seven fixed penalty notices.
It pointed out that not all 56 reports would have turned out to be breaches, and that the fines were issues for “blatant flouting of the rules”.
Meanwhile, large numbers of people flocked to bars and pubs in cities across the UK despite rising numbers of coronavirus cases, with pictures showing groups making the most of the warm weekend weather.
That came after Nottinghamshire Police issued a “reckless” teenager with a £10,000 fine for hosting a house party in Lenton, which saw more than 50 guests gather at a home on Harlaxton Drive.
If the 19-year-old man fails to pay or contests the fine he will appear before a court, the force said.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, from Nottinghamshire Police, said anyone considering hosting parties ahead of the changes on Monday – when social gatherings in England will be limited to groups of six people both indoors and outdoors – should think again or face the consequences.
“We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions,” he said.
“I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this.
“As we have demonstrated here we are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.”
The chairman of the Police Federation had previously warned the public against having a “party weekend” before the stricter social gatherings rules come into force.
Government figures showed on Saturday that another 3,497 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.
The number of new infections was a 36% increase on last Saturday, when 2,594 new cases were reported nationwide.