Police arrest teenager for assaulting officer as they shut down parties with 500 people

·3-min read
Police on patrol in Birmingham city centre days after a lone knifeman carried out a stabbing spree which saw one dead and several injured.
West Midlands Police were called to several incidents on Saturday night. (PA)

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

West Midlands Police tweeted that they received 18 calls to breaches of pandemic laws, mainly due to house parties, between 10pm and midnight.

The force said 550 people were moved on from 20 separate gatherings across the region where they were in breach of the government’s “rule of six” restrictions.

Eight venues will have their licences reviewed following the incidents, they added.

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“We’ve arrested a teenager for assaulting a police officer after we were called to a house party with 20-30 people in #Oscott. It’s simple - stay at home, stay safe,” the force tweeted.

“We’ve directed around 550 people to leave premises at over 20 locations across the force tonight where #Covid regulations were being breached.

Read more: Police 'shut down' anti-lockdown demonstration in London over lack of social distancing

“Eight premises will receive a visit from licensing officials for a licence review. No fines have been issued but we will if we have to.”

At around midnight, officers shut down a pub in Birmingham that was hosting a wedding party with about 60 guests, some two hours after it should have closed due to the new coronavirus restrictions.

On Friday evening, police said they moved on about 450 people who were part of big gatherings, while another 250 were forced to leave an event at a hotel in the city.

Watch: MPs to vote on 'rule of six' before government imposes more COVID restrictions

West Midlands Police said it was inundated with calls in the first week of the ‘rule of six’ restrictions, with 525 reports of breaches between September 15 and 20 – nearly 90 a day.

It comes after government ministers, including home secretary Priti Patel, urged people to report their neighbours if they saw them flouting lockdown restrictions.

The 'rule of six', which started on September 14, has reduced the number of people who can gather together from 30 to six.

Davis Jamieson, the region's police and crime commissioner, said: "Some people will choose to ignore the new measures and they should know that West Midlands Police will be on hand to remind them of their responsibilities in the first instance, but if they continue to flout the rules then officers won’t hesitate to act if lives are being put at risk.

"I would urge people to follow the rules to ensure we can get the virus under control."

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