‘Large group of cyclists’ ordered to disperse over alleged Covid breaches

21 February 2021, 16:25

Police say a 'large group of cyclists' were breaking Covid rules and engaging in 'anti-social behaviour'. File photo.
Police say a 'large group of cyclists' were breaking Covid rules and engaging in 'anti-social behaviour'. File photo. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

City of London Police have implemented a “dispersal zone” after reports of anti-social behaviour and Covid rule breaches by a “large group of cyclists”.

Until 7am on Monday, “anyone involved will be directed by officers to leave the City, and may be arrested for not doing so”, police said.

A spokesperson for the force told LBC a group of people “in double figures” were “cycling in large groups” and engaging in “anti-social behaviour”.

The group were “clearly not from the same household” and were of a “younger demographic”, they added.

Dispersal orders give the police extra power to break up groups of two or more people if they believe their behaviour is causing a nuisance, harassment or distress to the public.

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Under the current lockdown rules in England, people are only permitted to exercise with one person from outside their household.

As part of his roadmap out of lockdown, reports suggest that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Monday that people will be allowed to meet up outside in groups of up to six, or two households, from 29 March.

However, people are being urged to continue to follow the Covid rules as the lockdown is eased following a “cautious and irreversible” approach.

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While the vast majority of people continue to abide by the restrictions, on Thursday night police in the West Midlands broke up an illegal 50-person party taking place in a soundproofed room with a DJ, disco lights and Class A drugs.

Officers were tipped off about the bash by a member of the public, who had noticed taxis bringing around a dozen guests to the venue above shops on Erdington High Street, Birmingham, on Thursday night.

Around 50 people were discovered at the event and fined, while the suspected organiser was arrested after refusing to give their details.

They could now face a fine of £10,000 under coronavirus legislation.

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Meanwhile, officers responded to reports of a house party in Kings Norton, also in Birmingham, at around 12.30am on Friday after flashing lights and loud music were coming from inside.

Police said the lights were turned off once those inside realised they had arrived, and a woman came to the door in a dressing gown in an apparent bid to make the officers think all was quiet.

After being questioned as to why she was wearing jewellery and fake lashes to bed, she let officers inside the flat − where they had been told a party was being streamed live on Instagram.

Some guests were allowed to leave but three people were arrested after two officers were assaulted.