Police clamp down on illegal gatherings as tighter restrictions loom

Police have dispersed a number of illegal gatherings overnight as revellers make the most of the final weekend before the “rule of six” coronavirus restriction comes into force.

Greater Manchester Police said they closed down illegal gatherings at properties in Altrincham and Flixton on Saturday night, as well as a large gathering of around 70 people in Mottram.

Fixed penalty notices were issued at each of the incidents as current rules only allow groups of up to 30 to meet.

The interventions came just hours after officers attended a gathering at an address in Stockport which had 45 people in attendance, and another address in north Manchester which they had been called to on two previous occasions.

Earlier, Nottinghamshire Police issued a teenager with a £10,000 fine for hosting a house party in Lenton, which saw more than 50 guests gather at a home on Harlaxton Drive.

The force said if the 19-year-old man fails to pay or contests the fine he will appear before a court.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper, from Nottinghamshire Police, warned anyone thinking of hosting parties ahead of the changes on Monday – when social gatherings in England will be limited to groups of six people both indoors and outdoors – to think again or face the consequences.

He said: “We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

“I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this.

“We are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately putting other people’s lives in danger.”