WATCH: Police officers break-up 100-person lockdown street party
Video footage has been released showing the moment police broke up a street party where more than 100 people had gathered.
It is one of the more than 2,600 times officers in the West Midlands have had to tell people to leave an area since the coronavirus restrictions began.
Police were initially called to Sandwell Street in Handsworth to reports of a shot being fired on Wednesday evening.
When they arrived they found no evidence of firearms being used but did discover a street party of more than 100 people, including children.
WATCH the - footage here:
Dozens of cars were parked in a cul-de-sac with many ramped up on pavements and people were standing shoulder-to-shoulder eating food from a barbecue.
Officers moved through the group, telling people such gatherings were in breach of the Government’s orders, and instructing them to leave the area.
Body-cam footage, where the faces of the people involved are blurred, shows how there was no disorder, no arrests were made and nobody was fined.
However Birmingham Police Superintendent Gareth Morris warned that people would be fined if any future gatherings took place in the same location.
Police and local authorities can first offenders £100 and repeat offenders up to £3,200 for breaching the lockdown rules which forbid people meeting more than one person from outside of their household.
So far West Midlands Police has fined 480 people for breaking the coronavirus rules.
Spt Morris said: “This gathering was unacceptable. It was, in essence, a large street party. Such gatherings are banned at present under Covid-19 regulations as they pose a very real risk of spreading the virus and costing lives.
“It’s important people take responsibility for their own actions to help curb the spread of the virus.
"There were several children in this gathering… parents need to be stressing to their children the importance of social distancing to save lives.
“We don’t like stopping people having fun…but everyone has to recognise amassing in large numbers like this, given the current pandemic, is out of order.
“The officers handled the situation really well, engaging with the crowd, educating them on the current restrictions, and ordering them to return home.
“There were no arrests and no fines were issued. However, these people have been warned and if we encounter any further mass gatherings at the location we may well issue on-the-spot fines.”
The latest UK lockdown rules allow people to exercise and rest outside for any length of time however gatherings of more than two people from different households are not allowed.
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