‘You’ve spoiled the party’, police told as they raid lockdown birthday bash

Pat Hurst

Police were verbally abused after breaking up a lockdown-busting birthday party of 40 people at a city centre flat in Manchester.

One party-goer moaned: “We are having a f****** drink and you have come and spoiled it” after officers broke up the gathering in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Another reveller denied any knowledge of a lockdown, to which an officer replied: “Have you got a brain though?”

Many party goers dispersed as officers arrived, but police are now investigating retrospective action for those present, including the prospect of the maximum £10,000 fixed penalty notice (FPN) for the organiser.

Police were initially called shortly before 9pm last Friday to reports of a gathering of six people at a private residence in Beetham Tower on Deansgate in the city centre of Manchester.

But officers were unable to establish any evidence until further reports were made, and at around 2.50am on Saturday morning, a report was made of a fight involving 50 people at the property when police attended again.

The gathering at Beetham Tower was one of 74 incidents attended by Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) dedicated operation to tackle significant Covid breaches, Operation Ocean, over the weekend.

A total of 185 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) have been issued, including several £800 fines, for incidents including an 18th birthday party on Saturday night attended by at least 30 people at an address in Newton Heath, Manchester, and a staff party at an industrial estate in Salford attended by 17 people on Friday evening.

Officers also responded to a reported wedding party in Oldham where seven £800 FPNs were handed out after around 15 people were present and fled on police arrival.

A total of just over 3,700 FPNs have been issued in Greater Manchester since 31 July 2020.

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