Lancashire Police fine 195 people for weekend lockdown breaches - including hot tub parties, gym sessions and 75-mile road trips
A total of 195 people were handed £200 fines for flouting lockdown restrictions at the weekend, say Lancashire Police.
The force said those fined included a group of friends frolicking at a hot tub party, a woman driving 75 miles to visit her friend, anti-lockdown protesters gathering in Morecambe and a Preston gym owner who continues to open despite repeated warnings to stay closed.
In total, Lancashire Police said it received 435 reports of potential breaches between 7am on Friday (January 22) and 6am on Monday (January 25).
It said the majority of the reports were made in good faith but were deemed to be within the regulations.
The force has provided a snapshot of some of the incidents where officers were forced to issue fines. These included:
- A group of people from different households having a hot tub party at an address in Singleton
- A stop-check of a vehicle in Morecambe, which revealed the driver should have been isolating at home
- A gym in Preston that still opens to customers
- A house party in Darwen with 13 people present
- An anti-lockdown protest in Morecambe with several people present who were not socially-distancing
- Three people from different addresses in a car in Lancaster, who told officers they had met up to get a McDonald’s
- At least 10 young people playing football at Heysham High School playing field
- Two families having a dinner party at an home in Lytham
- Three people in a Vauxhall Corsa in Blackpool claiming they had driven 37 miles from Wigan to pick up a pedal cycle
- A woman from Bradford who had driven 75 miles to Lancaster to visit a friend and her newborn baby
- Plus several other parties in various locations across the county
What did police say about the weekend lockdown breaches?
Ch Supt Sam Mackenzie, of Lancashire Police, said: "It’s clear to me that the vast majority of Lancastrians are doing their very best to support the national effort to beat Covid.
"I want thank them all, I am sure their efforts will save lives and hopefully shorten the hardship we are all facing.
"We have always been clear that our preference is to help people stay safe by explaining, educating, encouraging them to follow the rules. But when people tell us they understand the rules but have chosen to break them anyway, that approach clearly won’t work, which is when enforcement becomes necessary.
"We all want some normality back but we urge everybody not to become complacent now. You may not think it is a big deal to meet up with a small group of people or to get into a car with someone from another household – but we know it is possible to have the virus and not have any symptoms and by breaking the rules you are putting your own loved ones and other members of our communities at risk.
"Officers will continue to be out and about talking to people and checking the rules are being followed. If you are a key worker or have a valid reason to be out and about please do not be offended if you are spoken to.
"As I’ve said the overwhelming majority of people are following the rules and to those we say a huge ‘thank you’. Please continue doing your bit so that we can contain the spread of the virus and keep everybody safe."
Anybody with concerns about lockdown breaches can report them online or by calling 101.