Hundreds gather in parks in Manchester and Liverpool as police issue more than 40 Covid fines

Merseyside Police have issued more than 40 fixed penalty notices as around 1,000 people gathered to celebrate St Patrick's Day at Sefton Park.

Officers were called to the Liverpool park on 17 March, after reports of large numbers of people gathered together.

The park was left strewn with litter as the crowds dispersed - and a dispersal order is now in place to deter others from continuing to meet up.

Hundreds were gathered in what is thought to have been a St Patrick's Day celebration. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Under current government Covid-19 rules, people are allowed to meet one person from outside their household for a coffee or picnic in outdoor spaces like parks.

In total police say 43 people were given Covid fines. A person was also arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

The gathering, which is thought to have been attended by mostly students, has been branded "reckless" by Liverpool's Universities.

Some were spotted attempting to take their rubbish home with them, but hundreds of others chose to leave theirs on the ground. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: “Our officers responded quickly to disperse a large group that had gathered at Sefton Park this afternoon. 

“Those who chose not to leave when instructed to do so were given fixed penalty notices.

“I would like to thank the people living in the local community and those who were attempting to use in the park in a safe and sensible manner with their families for their patience while this matter was dealt with."

 He added: “Contrary to what some selfish people believe we are still in a national lockdown and currently people are only permitted to mix outdoors with one other person outside their household or support bubble.

“I would like to thank all those people who continue to abide by the rules in order to protect themselves and other people and would strongly urge anyone planning to meet in multiple households, either inside or outside, to consider the consequences of their actions and not put themselves at risk of receiving a substantial fine.”

Meanwhile, police were called to a south Manchester park following reports of ‘hundreds’ of people drinking and playing music.

One neighbour described people with ‘loud speakers’ waving Irish flags and urinating on his garden fence during the gathering at Platt Fields Park - which started on Wednesday afternoon.While another local said the park, in Fallowfield, is “the busiest I've seen it”.Police attended and are said to have “engaged” with those present.