Police arrest four people for breaching coronavirus rules at anti-lockdown protest

·2-min read
Grainger Town is the historic centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
The arrests happened following a planned protest at Grey's Monument in Newcastle. (Stock picture: Getty)

Four people were arrested for breaching coronavirus regulations after an anti-lockdown protest in Newcastle.

Northumbria Police said the arrests took place after a planned protest at Grey’s Monument in the city on Saturday.

They included one woman aged 70 and three men aged 26, 58 and 59.

Two men were also issued with fines for not adhering to COVID-19 rules, the force said.

Watch: Coronavirus new restrictions - What you can and can't do - and the penalties

In the same weekend, police arrested a teenager for assaulting an officer as they sent over 500 people home from illegal gatherings across the West Midlands on Saturday night.

Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing, from Northumbria Police, said: “We were made aware of a planned protest to take place at Monument in Newcastle.

“The Health Protection regulations do permit gatherings for the purpose of protest but provide strict requirements on how these are to be conducted to limit the real risk of transmission of Coronavirus.

“We recognise the right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy, which police uphold and facilitate.”

She said before the event, police had engaged with organisers to make sure they understood their responsibilities and officers were deployed to the area to make sure regulations were adhered to.

“After engaging with a number of those taking part and explaining the importance of following the restrictions, it became clear enforcement action was required,” she added.

“We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and we are committed to taking appropriate action where necessary to protect our communities.”

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