Footage Shows Police Pulling Man To The Ground After Raiding Lockdown Flouting Gym
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Police in Merseyside have raided a gym refusing to close during lockdown - with footage showing officers striking a man and pulling him to the ground.
Footage showed gym-goers attempting to run away from the Prophecy Performance Centre in Liverpool, while officers with batons giving chase.
A CCTV clip shows one man being pulled to the ground by a group of officers.
Cops were tipped off that the gym had been flouting lockdown restrictions and still opening up for customers.
Police have said a member of the public told them 50 people were being held at the gym against their will in an attempt to go undetected.
Two people were arrested and 52 people were fined.
Officers said while they were outside the gym, a 34-year-old man became aggressive and started to swear at the cops.
In CCTV footage a man can be seen being restrained by a group of cops, before being pulled to the ground.
Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said police officers 'won't hesitate' to take 'robust action' against businesses that refuse to abide by the laws.
She said: "By continuing to operate, the owners of this gym were putting themselves and their customers at risk of catching and spreading Covid at a time when we all need to work together and follow the rules to tackle this deadly virus.
"While we know that this pandemic has been really tough for businesses that have been forced to close, it is only by adhering to the rules that we will be able to put a stop to this pandemic and hopefully see a return to normality more quickly."
The Deputy Chief Constable also defended the use of force from the officers, saying it was a necessary response to the behaviour the police faced.
She said: "At Merseyside Police, extensive training is given to officers around the importance of using force lawfully and proportionately, and thankfully, for the vast majority of interactions with the public, force is not required.
"The decision to use force is never taken lightly, and in cases where it is appropriate, officers must often make quick, split-second judgements where there is a risk of harm. During this incident, the use of force was judged necessary by officers in response to people's behaviour.
"Officers should not be confronted with abuse and violence when attempting to uphold the law which most people are rightly abiding by.
"We are currently in a national lockdown which means people should not be leaving their homes for non-essential reasons or meeting up with other people outside their household or support bubble."
A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and has since been released under investigation.
A 33-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment.
The 34-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and on suspicion of careless and inconsiderate driving. He was released on conditional bail, while the woman was released under investigation.