Moment police break up makeshift outdoor gym in Essex

12 November 2020, 13:55

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

This is the moment police officers broke up a makeshift outdoor gym on an industrial site in Harlow, Essex.

At least seven masked officers can be seen talking to the group in footage posted onto the Facebook page of Ripped Gym, in Wych Elm, on Sunday.

After explaining the current lockdown measures, the officers then "left peacefully" without making any arrests.

Earlier this month, Ripped Gym was shut down by 15 Essex Police officers after posts on its social media accounts suggested it would defy coronavirus restrictions and open to members on 5 November.

Essex Police said in a statement: "We attended an unauthorised event in Wych Elm, Harlow on Sunday 8 November.

"Our officers engaged with those in attendance and explained the new regulations and they left peacefully."

Read more: Gym owner tells of police blockade after refusing to close in lockdown

This is the moment police broke up a makeshift gym in Harlow, Essex
This is the moment police broke up a makeshift gym in Harlow, Essex. Picture: Ripped Gym Facebook

In the clip posted on social media, loud music can be heard playing from a parked car as people lifted weights and exercised while remaining socially distanced.

Despite the police presence, many of those present, some wearing Ripped Gym T-shirts, continued their workouts.

At one point a child can be seen lifting a bar above their head and a man was spotted whipping out his phone to film the officers as they approached the group.

He then repeatedly said to the officer: "Find the organiser," while a woman in background can be heard asking: "What's the problem?"

It comes as a London gym owner refuses to shut his doors to members despite Metropolitan Police officers blockading his business.

Andreas Mishli, 34, who owns Zone Gym in Haringey, north London, has broken lockdown rules by keeping his gym open following last Thursday's introduction of lockdown restrictions in England.

The fitness fanatic said he is certain "with all (his) heart" that he is doing the right thing despite officers forming a "yellow wall of jackets" outside the premises.

Gyms are included in the list of venues that must close under national lockdown restrictions in England and Brits have been told to stay at home where possible.

Information on the government's website reads: "In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person.

"However, you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoor space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person."

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