Manchester police hand 110 Covid fines to rule breakers who think they are 'above the law'

17 January 2021, 15:26

Greater Manchester Police handed out over 100 fines this weekend
Greater Manchester Police handed out over 100 fines this weekend. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Some people still believe they are "above the law" as a significant number of house parties were crashed by officers over the weekend, Greater Manchester Police has said.

Officers have issued 110 fixed-penalty notices to Covid rule-breakers since 3pm on Friday, bringing the total issued in the region to 2,600 since August.

Fines were handed out on Saturday night to partygoers at an address in Hulme and at a property in Greengate, Salford, where police responded to reports of 30 people attending.

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Officers were also called to a party of more than 40 people at a flat in Cheetham Hill after receiving reports of a disturbing in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In Bolton, four people travelling in a car on Friday were fined when their vehicle broke down after they drove from Preston to pick up a takeaway.

Greater Manchester Police chief inspector Carol Martin said: "The majority of people across Greater Manchester are following the Government's guidance - we would like to thank them for doing their bit throughout the pandemic. However, there is a minority who think they are above the law.

"It is incredibly frustrating to those abiding by the rules that some people are showing such a blatant disregard for the current regulations.

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"Not only are they putting their own lives and those of their loves ones at stake, they also risk undoing the hard work of everyone else continuing to make the necessary sacrifices at this time.

"We would like to reassure people that dedicated teams of officers are responding to reports of non-compliance and are continuing to follow the national lead by engaging with members of the public, explaining the law and encouraging compliance, but our officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action if people are found to be flouting the rules."

It follows warnings from the National Police Chiefs' Council chair Martin Hewitt that police forces are persistently trying to shut down "completely irresponsible" illegal parties and raves after seeing organisers promote events on social media.

In an exclusive interview on LBC, he said: "We are scanning across social media and through other information that we get because of course we want to prevent [illegal events].

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"As soon as 100 or 200 people have come together in a confined space then that is the perfect breeding ground for the virus.

"We will do everything we can to stop that happening in the first place and we will come down really hard on people who are organised those kind of events because in the current situation that is completely irresponsible."