Police Issue Warning After 660 Parties Shut Down In Greater Manchester
Police have warned people to stay at home this Easter weekend after officers in Greater Manchester had to shut down 660 parties.
A total of 1,132 breaches of lockdown measures were reported across the county between Wednesday 25 March and Tuesday 7 April. Among these breaches, there were 494 house parties and 166 street parties.
The force also had to break up 122 group gatherings for sporting activities, 173 gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder.
The scale of the disregard for social distancing measures is cause for concern for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who have enlisted the help of celebrities such as Marcus Rashford, Shaun Ryder and Steph Houghton to reiterate the importance of staying at home.
It is particularly important the message is received ahead of the Easter weekend, with pleasant weather widely forecast.
GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period; however it is vital that we follow the Government guidelines. We must do this to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS by preventing the spread of this highly contagious infection.
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"I would encourage everyone to enjoy themselves at home with their loved ones but please don't socialise beyond the immediate people that you live with. Please don't participate in other social gatherings inside or outside, no matter how big or small.
"We are trying to engage, explain, and encourage everyone to follow the Government guidance. However, where people do not comply with the guidelines, we will use the legislative powers. We hope that such actions will not be necessary and the public will work with us during this challenging time."
Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley has shared a similar message, warning people the 'three-week grace period is over' and that people in the county can now expect to be landed with fines and possibly a criminal record.
He said: "These are not guidelines anymore. This is the law.
"By going out and disobeying the law you are increasing the chances of spreading this coronavirus and causing many more deaths, unnecessary deaths.
"We've had examples of people sunbathing in the park, having barbecues in the park, we've had large gatherings of family members. To those people, I am saying 'your time is up'."
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Featured Image Credit: PA