House party revellers sent packing by police after ignoring lockdown

House party revellers had to be sent packing by police after ignoring government advice to stay at home during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Officers in Coventry were called to an address overnight on Wednesday into Thursday, where they found 12 people, eight of whom had to be removed and sent home, West Midlands Police said.

Another gathering also had to be shut down in Birmingham the same evening.

On Tuesday, the force’s officers found more than 20 people enjoying a barbecue in Coventry just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, on Monday night, telling people they “must stay at home”.

The group, which included a toddler and others aged in their 60s, were discovered near some lock-up garages, when a neighbourhood police patrol smelled food cooking in the Foleshill area.

When challenged, the group started protesting and in the end officers had to tip the grill over in order to make them disperse.

Coronavirus
Officers had to tip over a barbecue in Coventry on Tuesday to get members of the public to disperse (West Midlands Police/PA)

Commenting on the current lockdown, the force’s Chief Constable Dave Thompson said the police would be “here to help”, offering advice and educating members of the public.

But he did not rule out using enforcement “as a last resort”.

He said: “Our aim is not to fill the custody block with people or to issue plenty of enforcement notices, it’s to change behaviour and we all have a role in doing that.

“I can assure the public at this time, we are out and about.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Home Office warned that people who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police.

Those who ignore tougher restrictions on movement could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence.

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