Police issue more than 80 fines for weekend Covid breaches in Greater Manchester

More than 80 fines have been issued after police were called to a number of reports of Covid-19 regulation breaches over the weekend.

A large gathering of more than 100 people was reported to Greater Manchester Police just before 10pm on Saturday night.

Officers received a report of 10 people in the yard of an industrial unit before arriving at the scene and hearing a large number of people inside a unit on Mary Street in Manchester.

They found a large number of people were inside after officers opened numerous locked doors.

17 people were handed fixed penalty notices at the gathering and officers are working alongside partners in licensing to close the premises.

Hours later, just after 1am on Sunday, officers were called to a report of a party on Butterton Drive in Manchester. A number of people had sprawled out onto the street on police arrival.

Further patrols attended and an officer was allegedly bitten on the arm whilst trying to break up the party.

One person has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "These parties are a blatant disregard of the rules and pose a significant health risk to all those involved and the rest of the communities in Greater Manchester.

"The world is currently facing a public health crisis and breaking such regulations is simply against the law and selfish.

"Though the lockdown has a huge effect on the people of Greater Manchester's lives - the restrictions are there to save lives.

"We have no alternative but to issue fines for blatant disregard of the rules. Large gatherings pose a monumental risk to people's lives and I hope this serves as a reminder to those considering to flout the rules. We will take action.

"But I would also remind the public who choose to so obviously breach these rules, this is adding to the pressure on policing when we would much rather be responding to other calls from the public.

"This is a challenging time for everyone but we all need to make sure we work together to reduce the risk posed by the spread of Covid-19."

Officers also attended other gatherings across Greater Manchester over the weekend resulting in a number of fines with breaches reported in Manchester City Centre and Stockport.

Around 600 fines have been given out with a large number issued following reported gatherings since 2nd November.