Police fined Covid rule-breakers £200 for driving 150 miles to the Cotswolds because ‘it is very hard to go shopping in London’ as the crackdown on flouters during the third national lockdown continues.
In Gloucestershire, police fined tourists from London in Lower Slaughter and walkers at popular destination Bourton-on-the-Water yesterday.
An irritated Cotswold Police tweeted: ‘Another Covid ticket handed out in Lower Slaughter. The drivers excuse for the 300 mile round trip was that it was very hard to go shopping in London. #£200DayOut’.
The same force later posted to Twitter: ‘We thought it was supposed to be lockdown? Apparently not in Bourton?! Two Covid tickets handed out to tourists from London and multiple warnings given’.
In Scotland, two climbers who were rescued from Ben Nevis were fined £60 each for driving 100 miles from Glasgow to Fort William on Saturday.
The pair were rescued by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and the Inverness-based Coastguard helicopter after getting into trouble on the peak – only to be handed Covid penalties by Police Scotland later.
It comes after a group of men were fined by police after travelling to the Cotswolds from South Wales on Saturday night.
Police fined Covid rule-breakers £200 for driving 150 miles to the Cotswolds. Cotswold Police tweeted: ‘Another Covid ticket handed out in Lower Slaughter. The drivers excuse for the 300 mile round trip was that it was very hard to go shopping in London. #£200DayOut’
In Scotland, two climbers who were rescued from Ben Nevis were fined £60 each for driving 100 miles from Glasgow to Fort William on Saturday. A second pair of walkers also got into trouble on the peak (rescue scene pictured), but did not break Covid rules
Wildlife crime officer Nick Westmacott said the vehicle was stopped in Bourton-on-the-Water High Street at 11pm.
The officer wrote the vehicle had previously been involved in hare coursing on the A40 at Norleach on Sunday, January 24, and a police national computer marker was placed on the vehicle.
‘Gloucestershire Police Special, in an ANPR equipped vehicle, stop searched the four male occupants for hare coursing evidence,’ he said.
‘Nothing was found, but as they had all travelled from South Wales without a reasonable excuse they were all issued £200 Covid tickets.
‘We have informed Gwent Police who may also want to issue them with Covid tickets for travelling out of Wales without reasonable excuse.’
Across the border, two climbers who drove from Glasgow to Fort William were rescued by emergency services after getting into trouble – only to be fined by police.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘We received a report around 4.15pm on Saturday, 30 January, of two climbers in difficulty on Ben Nevis.
‘Members of the local mountain rescue and coastguard teams attended, including air support, and both the men were recovered safely around 5.45pm.
‘There were no injuries and both were issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching coronavirus regulations.’
The pair were rescued by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and the Inverness-based Coastguard helicopter after getting into trouble on the peak – only to be handed Covid penalties by Police Scotland later (stock picture)
What are the rules around gatherings?
Under current Covid laws, you must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
But Priti Patel said people attending illegal house parties will now face £800 fines as police tighten their clampdown on rule-breaking.
The Home Secretary announced the hefty penalty for anyone attending gatherings of 15 or more people as she lashed out at revellers for spreading Covid.
The fines will double for each repeat offence, up to a maximum of £6,400.
Hosts of illegal parties are already liable for a £10,000 fine.
As the helicopter was returning to base about 6.15pm, it was called back to help with the rescue of another two climbers on Creag Meagaidh.
Members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were airlifted onto the mountain and the men, who were not injured, were helped to safety by around 11pm. It is believed they were experienced local climbers and no Covid regulations were broken.
The mountain rescue team yesterday took to social media to ‘Please continue to respect travel restrictions’.
Their message said: ‘We thought we were heading for our first ever callout-free January but just like buses, two came along at once last night.
‘The first, in Minus 2 Gully on Ben Nevis, was swiftly dealt with.
‘The second on Creag Meaghaidh was a little more challenging for the eight team members dropped onto the summit plateau but, all in all, a successful rescue with all parties home and safe.’
Malcolm Macintyre, support manager at Braemar Mountain Rescue, urged walkers to ‘keep it reasonable’ during lockdown, and not risk adding additional pressure on the NHS and emergency services.
He said: ‘It’s very difficult. I totally understand why people are trying to get out and do stuff, it’s hard times for everybody, and I feel in a very privileged position in that I live 10 minutes from Glenshee hills, and so I can out my backdoor and go mountaineering.
‘So on one level I understand the frustration that people have got, but I just think for the good of everybody, people have got to do the right thing, so that means sticking to the guidelines and not travelling out of your area.
‘People should be sensible, take it easy, and not push themselves. Save the heroics for when lockdown lifts. Let’s just keep it reasonable just now.’
On Friday, police urged people to follow government Covid guidelines after reporting they had received 46 calls to search and rescue incidents during December and January.
During that time, six fixed-penalty notices were issued and six people were charged with culpable and reckless conduct.
Earlier this month it was revealed two walkers who sparked a rescue operation near Glencoe on Hogmanay were fined for breaching travel restrictions.
A member of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team was injured during the rescue of the pair, who travelled from Oban.
Walkers enjoying their right to exercise were hit by a ‘freak wave’ during a storm at Chesil Beach in Devon on Saturday night.
HM Coastguard were called to Chiswell, a small village at the southern end of Chesil Beach, to stop people from getting too close to the waves which had caused water and debris to run into the streets.
Waves damage cars on the seafront at Seaton in Devon as the Environment Agency issues flood warnings
Chesil Beach on the Isle of Portland in Dorset was besieged by strong winds, heavy rainfall and terrifying 23ft waves on Saturday night
Among those at the scene was Drew Parkinson, area commander for South Devon and South-East Cornwall Coastline.
In a tweet he said: ‘Last night I attended an incident at Chiswell, Portland where three coastguards were injured, one seriously, after a freak wave washed them off their feet as they attempted to clear the sea wall of people watching the seas.
‘Please don’t put yourself, and us at risk for a photo.’
Referring to their injuries, he added: ‘Unfortunately it’s going to be a long, slow road to recovery for one with potential long-lasting effects but currently in the best place being cared for by our fantastic NHS.’
A spokesman for HM Coastguard told the Dorset Echo: ‘We received a 999 call at 8.10pm yesterday reporting a number of people on the sea wall watching an incoming storm at Chisel on the Isle of Portland.
‘The Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue Team attended to provide safety advice and to usher people from the area.
‘While at the scene three members of the coastguard team were injured due to being hit by a large freak wave. One of these was seriously injured and was taken to hospital by the South West Ambulance Service for treatment.
‘We would urge people to think carefully about the risks they take and be extremely careful during bad weather – piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be. If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’
Revellers at £4m Essex mansion rave who tried to con police they were ‘making a music video’ are fined total of £15,000 while 200-person party at Liverpool hotel and gathering of 70 on London boat are also closed down in covidiot crackdown
Fines have been issued to people attending a gym, a hotel and a house party as police enforce new tougher coronavirus regulations for gatherings of over 15 people.
Eighteen revellers were fined nearly £15,000 in total after holding a illegal house party in Essex that breached Covid lockdown rules on Saturday – as party-goers told Essex police they were shooting a music video.
Pictures from inside the £4million party house in Sewardstonebury, near Chingford, which had been rented for the occasion, show countertops littered with vodka bottles, red party cups and drug paraphernalia.
Essex Police raided the property at 5pm yesterday, fining 18 people £800 each – 17 of whom were from London, and one from Essex.
The property, Knoll House, is now under investigation with police being called to break up three illegal gatherings there in the past four weeks.
Eighteen revellers are slapped with fines totalling nearly £15,000 after they were caught holding illegal house party at Knoll House on Bury Road, Sewardstonebury, Essex, on Saturday
Pictures show party light machines (bottom left) and a large amount of alcohol on the counter tops of the rented property’s kitchen
A spokesman for Essex Police said officers attended a house in Bury Road, Sewardstonebury, at about 5pm on Saturday after reports of a party and when they arrived were initially refused entry by people inside who claimed to be making a music video.
The force added: ‘An investigation led by our detectives is now underway to establish who organised the event. We are also working with our partners to put measures in place to prevent the future unlawful use of the property.’
The same property was used to host an extravagant and illegal New Years Eve party for 100 people, which featured a DJ, a fire dancer and alcohol served in large ice buckets by a waiter in a bow tie.
The woman organiser of the party was given a £10,000 fixed penalty notice by Essex Police for breaking strict anti-coronavirus rules.
Police are seen escorting party-goers out of the property in Sewardstonebury on Saturday
Earlier this month police were called to another illegal gathering at the property, and again on Saturday.
Following the incident on Saturday Essex Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills, said: ‘This party was a clear and blatant breach of the current restrictions which were put in place to save lives and protect the NHS.
‘These selfish individuals not only have no regard for their own safety, but they clearly didn’t give a second thought for the safety of the local community, the police officers who had to attend to deal with their reckless behaviour or the NHS who are under unbelievable pressure.’
The Essex party took place at a luxury property called Knoll House in the upmarket hamlet of Sewardstonebury in Epping Forest (pictured)
The latest coronavirus regulations in England, which came into force at 5pm on Friday, include fines of £800 for people caught at house parties with groups of more than 15 people and will double after each offence, up to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offenders.
Police raided an illegal party on a boat moored in Ealing, London, on the River Thames last night giving the 72 people aboard fines of £800 each, while the organiser was fined £10,000 for staging the party.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said today: ‘Police were called to Volt Avenue, shortly after 23.00hrs yesterday, to reports of a large gathering on a moored boat.
‘Police attended and located the party which was attended by more than 70 people. The group was dispersed and a total of 72 people were reported for the consideration of fixed penalty notices of £800 for attending an indoor gathering of more than 15 people in breach of the Coronavirus regulations.
Officers also handed out more than 25 fixed penalty notices to guests on New Year’s Eve and seized sound equipment (pictured) from the same luxury house in Sewardstonebury
‘The organiser was identified and reported for consideration of a £10,000 fixed penalty notice.’
Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Bowen said: ‘This was a blatant breach of the Coronavirus rules that are in place to save lives and protect the huge pressure on the NHS.
‘All the people who attended this event, which appears to have been organised on social media, have quite rightly been reported for the consideration of fines.
‘The Met will continue to shut down and disperse events such as this, which risk spreading a virus that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in this country.’
In Merseyside, police issued fixed penalty notices to 19 people who were found in Shred Fast Gym on Long Lane in Aintree at 10.30pm on Saturday.
At 3.15am on Sunday officers found around 200 people at the Richmond Hotel in Liverpool city centre where four parties were going on
The force, which has reported the business owner to the local authority, said those attending were not wearing PPE or social distancing and had travelled from areas including Billinge, Widnes, Wirral and Southport.
At 3.15am today officers found around 200 people at the Richmond Hotel in Liverpool city centre where four parties were going on, the force said.
A police spokesman said 13 fixed penalty notices were issued, 11 documented warnings were given and everyone who was not a legitimate guest at the hotel was removed.
One woman was arrested on suspicion of breaching coronavirus legislation and two counts of assaulting a constable and a man was arrested as he was wanted, the force said.
Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle said: ‘This sort of behaviour is unbelievable and unacceptable and officers should not be confronted with abuse and violence when attempting to uphold the law, which most people are rightly abiding by.’