Police break up wedding with 100 guests for breaching coronavirus restrictions
Police broke up a wedding reception attended by more than 100 guests after officers found it to be in breach of coronavirus regulations.
Attendees were told to disperse at the event in Blackburn on Sunday evening, while a wedding organiser was given a fixed-penalty notice after more than 50 guests went to a separate reception in Greater Manchester.
Both areas are subject to restrictions that stop people socialising with other households, and rules in England say no more than 30 people should attend a reception.
Gatherings of more than that amount are generally banned, with some exceptions like workplaces, and breaches can be punished with a fine of £100 for the first offence, up to a maximum of £3,200 if further offences are committed.
Blackburn and Darwen Police said officers engaged with the people at the Blackburn reception and that it was dispersed without an issue.
On Facebook, the force said: “This is a clear breach of both local and national restrictions that puts everyone attending at risk.”
Greater Manchester Police said the wedding in Whalley Range, Manchester, was one of 54 reported breaches of coronavirus rules between 3pm and 11pm on Sunday.
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The force’s deputy chief constable Ian Pilling said: “Following large gatherings on both Friday and Saturday night, we have had to attend further events yesterday evening.
“We’ve been really open with the public about the pressure these calls place on already stretched and limited resources and I really need people to understand what is at stake here.
“Can you imagine a vulnerable loved one not being able to get through to 999 when in an emergency, because our phone lines are tied up with people reporting illegal parties? It’s this serious.
“I feel we’ve been really fair with the public, engaging and explaining with them and only enforcing as a last resort.
“However, these blatant breaches continue and we owe it to our communities to thoroughly investigate these types of reports and prosecute those involved. We will continue to enforce when there is a blatant disregard for the rules.
“We understand that the vast majority of people across Greater Manchester are doing the right thing and it’s incredibly disappointing that these people are being continuously let down by a small majority, who are selfishly flouting the very guidance that is there to keep us safe. I want to thank those who are doing their bit.”
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