300 lockdown fines issued in West Midlands as police break up illegal parties

More than 300 fines have been handed out across the West Midlands in one week to people breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

A total of 317 fixed penalty notices were issued to people flouting the rules by police between February 8 and February 14.

And a total of 1,568 people were given "directions to leave" in total – where people are fined, arrested or ordered to disperse.

Around 70 of the fines were given out at one illegal rave in Birmingham, where police were pelted with bottles as they arrived to break up the gathering.

On the same night officers discovered a garage in the Black Country which had been turned into the 'Covid Arms' pub.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Most of the events police were called to were house parties, where people are celebrating birthdays, weddings or whatever, and they are meeting in large numbers in breach of the Covid regulations.

"On the weekend, on Friday and Saturday night, there were 121 breaches logged by the police which occasioned another 117 of the £200 fines and nine of the £800 fines.

"On Saturday night, there was a particularly large gathering near the Jewellery Quarter where somebody had set up an illegal bar.

"It was estimated somewhere in the region of 150 people were in attendance in a premise, which could be deemed was not a safe place to be Covid or not because those people were not social distancing – they were fragrantly breaking the law."

Mr Jamieson said the DJ at the meeting is facing a £10,000 – but raised concerns over the levels of "hostility" directed towards officers in breaking up the illegal party.

He added: "What we have noticed, which is somewhat different, is the degree of hostility to the police in breaking up that event which was considerable.

"Officers were pelted with bottles, one officer sustained an injury and it's fortunate that other officers weren't injured. It underlines that police officers, very often there isn't time to socially distance when you're dealing with this certain kind of event.

"It's difficult and problematic and I do put the plea out again – those officers who are out on the frontline, who cannot socially distance and sometimes do not have the opportunity to have the full PPE available to them, if they're involved in a violent and escalating situation, those officers should be prioritised for the Covid jab."

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