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Police break-up 20-strong group hosting barbecue and buffet in street

Coronavirus | Published:

People have hit out at a group of people after they set up a street barbecue and buffet amid the coronavirus lockdown.

People at the barbecue in Coventry. Image: West Midlands Police

A group of around 20 people, aged around their 60s, were spotted by West Midlands Police officers tucking into a BBQ.

Neighbourhood officers smelt food cooking and smoke rising near flats in the Coventry back street and investigated.

They found the group, including a toddler, freely socialising and eating food near a buffet table and BBQ.

West Midlands Police said the group were told the behaviour was unacceptable and they should be following social distancing guidelines.

Despite the warning the group refused and began protesting they should be allowed to continue their barbecue.

A force spokesman said: "One woman shouted 'my children need to eat' but could not explain why she was not cooking for them at home in her kitchen.

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"In the end our officers felt they needed to end the gathering by tipping over the BBQ and insisting the group dispersed to their homes.

"It’s vital everyone follows the new ‘lockdown’ instructions; they are essential and it will save lives.

"Our officers and PCSOs will be out and about in communities and speaking (from a distance of two metres!) with anyone we suspect is breaching the new regulations.

"If people do not listen to our advice then we will move to enforcement – and our Chief Constable has vowed that we will target the most problematic behaviour."

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