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Police have issued fines to coronavirus rule breakers including those who held a party in a garden shed and a group of more than 40 people who gathered for illegal car racing.
In the 10th month of the pandemic, police have clamped down on those clearly breaking the rules, with forces being asked by government to increase enforcement as the death toll from the virus mounts.
Police in Swansea issued fines after finding eight people partying in a garden shed in Sketty that housed a bar.
In Romford, east London, which has one of the highest infection rates in the country, 49 people face fines after allegedly turning up to an illegal car meeting. Police were called to reports of 50 cars gathered just before midnight on Saturday, speeding around a roundabout as drivers stood around and mingled.
DCS Stephen Clayman of the Metropolitan police said: “It is unacceptable that people are still breaking the rules at a time when there is so much pressure on the NHS. It is more important than ever before that people follow the regulations.
“The restrictions are clear enough and there is no excuse for this sort of selfish behaviour that puts lives at risk and causes a nuisance for nearby residents who are doing the right thing by staying at home.
“We understand that this is a very difficult time for everyone, but our top priority as police officers is keeping people safe. If that means moving quicker to enforcement action for more wilful breaches, then we will do.”
Elsewhere, police caught a man in Devizes, Wiltshire, who said he had driven all the way from Luton, Bedfordshire, to buy a McDonald’s takeaway. It was bad luck for him on three fronts: he faces a £200 fine, Devizes does not have a branch of the fast food chain, and his car was seized because it was uninsured.
Police in Manchester hit out at a “minority who think they are above the law” after they were called out to house parties and other gatherings at the weekend, with 110 fixed penalty notices issued across the Greater Manchester region.
Fines were issued after a house party with 30 people was held in Hulme, Manchester, and after police were called to a party of 40 people at a flat in Cheetham Hill.
Four people in a car on Friday evening received fines after travelling from Bolton to Preston for a takeaway. Police happened across them after their car broke down.
Ch Insp Carol Martin of Greater Manchester police 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.
“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.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Shed parties and illegal races: UK police crack down on Covid rulebreakers | World news