Cheltenham Covid-19 lockdown breach named among worst yet by police chief

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Credit: PA

A group of people travelling from Cheltenham to Wales for a walk over Christmas has been named among the country’s worst Covid-19 lockdown breaches by a police chief.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, cited three examples of people “selfishly” ignoring coronavirus restrictions during a Downing Street press conference.

Among them was the incident involving a group of people from Cheltenham, who travelled to Pen y Fan in south Wales in a minibus at Christmas.

The group from Cheltenham had travelled to Pen y Fan in Wales for a walk. Credit: PA

Officers who were carrying out high-visibility patrols in the area spotted the vehicle, and fines were issued to people from different households.

"We will not waste time trying to reason with people like this, who have no regard for the safety of others,” Mr Hewitt said at the briefing.

"Organising parties or large gatherings is dangerous, selfish and totally irresponsible in light of the current threat we face.

The other two breaches he cited included a boat party in Hertfordshire, attended by more than 40 people, and a £10,000 fine issued to someone in Surrey who organised a party but claimed it was a business event.

Mr Hewitt added: “It's important for me to be really clear. At this critical time we will have more officers out on dedicated patrols to take action against the small few who are letting us all down.”

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