550 people ordered home as police descend on West Midlands premises breaking Covid rules

Police in the West Midlands ordered about 550 people to leave premises at more than 20 locations where Covid regulations were being breached.

Officers moved on 250 people from an event at a hotel Birmingham.

One pub in Birmingham was hosting a wedding party with a DJ and around 60 guests, with drinks still being served two hours after the 10pm shut off time on Saturday night.

Thirty-eight people were told to leave a massage parlour and officers were called to 50 people having a party at student accommodation. Police were also called to a snooker hall where people were being let in through the back after 10pm.

And an officer was assaulted after police were called to a house party with up to 30 people in Oscott.

West Midlands Police said no fines were issued last night but they warned: "We will if we have to."

It comes after new regulations were imposed this week meaning pubs and restaurants must shut at 10pm, only serve customers at tables and customers must wear masks at all times except when sitting at their table and be in groups of no more than six people.

In Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and Wolverhampton people who don't live together cannot meet in homes or gardens unless they are in a support bubble or caring for children.

During the pandemic the force has adopted a policy of speaking to people before administering fines. While this will continue, officers have now been ordered to move more swiftly onto enforcement – particularly for repeat offenders and those who organise large gatherings.

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West Midlands Police tweeted: "We’ve directed around 550 people to leave premises at over 20 locations across the force tonight where #Covid regulations were being breached. 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."

In a separate tweet they said: "We’re just leaving a pub in Birmingham which was hosting a wedding party with DJ & around 60 guests. Drinks were still being served when we walked in - two hours after the pub should have shut. Guests left without issue, and licensing officers will decide on next steps."

They also said: "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."

And in Moseley, officers said: "Meanwhile, in Moseley village, there’s been a bit of a gathering on the green featuring an impromptu performance from a band featuring someone on the trumpet. We’ve had a word and people are making their way home now. All very friendly."

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