Covid fines given to people who broke lockdown rules at Swindon house party

Nine people were fined after attending the house party. Credit: Wiltshire Police

Police in Wiltshire handed out 54 fines to people breaching coronavirus lockdown rules at the weekend - including nine at one house party.

Officers were called to reports of an illegal gathering in Swindon on Saturday 13 February which turned out to be a 30th birthday party.

Seven men and two women, all aged between 23 and 35, were found at the party inside a property in Rutland Road, Park North.

They were each given £200 fines for breaching lockdown rules, with two attendees found to have travelled from Nottingham.

Officers arrived at the scene to find loud music playing, disco lights, and a buffet which included food, a birthday cake and alcohol.

Wiltshire Police have handed out over 50 fines per week for three consecutive weeks as some members of the public disobey lockdown rules

Paul Mills, the deputy chief constable, said last week was the third consecutive week more than 50 fixed penalty notices had been issued.

He said: "It is incredibly disappointing people are still choosing to the flout the rules in this way, showing a complete disregard for the ongoing pandemic and the sacrifices that so many people are making every day to help keep others safe.

"There is no excuse – we all know the rules and the reasons why they are in place.

Wiltshire Police handed out 13 fines in Chippenham for an illegal car meet this month, whilst tourists from Birmingham were reprimanded for visiting Bath during lockdown.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, added: "I applaud the efforts of all our police officers and staff who continue to be out in our communities, protecting the public and tackling crime.

"They are putting themselves at risk and it is unacceptable that, on top of their usual duties, they are having to deal with so many instances of people breaching lockdown.

"Not only does it take police time and resources away from other matters, but it puts those officers and staff at increased risk of catching Covid-19."

Wiltshire Police have now issued a total 571 fixed penalty notices, and between February 8 and February 14 they have:

  • Issued 54 fixed penalty notices.

  • Issued 69 formal warnings to people for failing to adhere to the Government rules.

  • Recorded 197 reports from members of the public, either via the phone or using our online reporting tool.

  • Recorded eight Covid-related crimes and 28 Covid-related incidents.

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