James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
'Have you got a brain?': Angry police officers crash Covid-breaching Manchester flat party
16 February 2021, 15:33
Police officers were left furious after party-goers at a flat in Manchester claimed not to know there was a Covid-19 lockdown.
Around 40 people were gathered at a luxury apartment in the city's famous Beetham Tower on Saturday when officers received reports of a serious breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
Police arrived at the flat at around 3am to find party-goers who refused to tell officers where they lived and claimed not to know there was a national lockdown.
Greater Manchester Police released footage of the incident, where an officer repeatedly asks one rule-breaker "have you got a brain?" when they claimed to be unaware of Covid-19 restrictions.
Shortly before 9pm on Friday 12 February, officers began to receive initial reports of a gathering of six people at a private residence in Beetham Tower but were unable to establish any evidence of this.
"You've all breached coronavirus regulations," one officer told the crowd, "do you know we're in a lockdown?"
One person at the party shouted out that he "doesn't have a TV" so did not know about the rules.
"But you've got a brain though, haven't you?" the officer replied.
Police received reports about a party in the building hours before responding but decided to intervene after being told there could be a fight involving up to 50 people.
Some of the group, aged in their 20s and 30s, dispersed when officers arrived.
GMP said it is looking at "retrospective action" for attendees, including handing the organiser with a maximum £10,000 fine.
It was one of 74 major Covid-19 breaches attended by officers over the weekend, with 185 fixed penalty notices handed out for incidents including an 18th birthday party attended by at least 30 people and a staff party at an industrial estate in the neighbouring city of Salford.