“You may have seen we attended a house party in Ormskirk this weekend, where we found around 30 revellers in blatant breach of the Covid-19 regulations. We wanted to give you some further details and explain the new fines which have now come into force. We attended the address on Wigan Road at around 2.45am on Sunday (January 31st), and found around 30 people inside, believed to be students from Edge Hill University celebrating a birthday party.
“Several people fled the property on police arrival – including some out of a window – but the organiser of the party, a woman aged in her 20s, was located and will be issued with a £10,000 fixed penalty notice in due course. Officers also located nine of the people who had been in attendance and they were all given an £800 fixed penalty notice. This was a result of the new law which came into force at the weekend – part of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations – which now allows officers to issue the increased fine to anybody attending a house party of 15 people or more. A man has since been charged after an officer was pushed while speaking to party-goers.
Supt Karen Edwards, of Lancashire Police, said “This party was a blatant breach of the current restrictions, which are in place to prevent the virus from spreading and to keep everybody safe. It is unbelievably selfish for anyone to believe they are exempt when so many law-abiding citizens have not seen their friends and family properly in almost a year. While we are continuing to spend most of our time dealing with crime and keeping people safe, we must stress that incidents like this take us away from that and take up officers’ valuable time. We have always taken a proportionate approach to breaches of the regulations – educating, explaining and engaging first, with enforcement as a last resort – but when people blatantly break the rules, as with this party, we have to take it seriously and take a firmer approach.
“As always, we would like to say a huge thankyou to those who are following the law and are doing their bit to keep everybody safe. We all want lockdown to end, and for normality to resume, and we are grateful to the majority who are working with us to make that happen”.
If you want to report a suspected breach of the regulations you can do it online at http://orlo.uk/7GoxP
Temporary Chief Inspector for West Lancashire, Chris Abbott “We have a tactical policing plan in place with additional officers who will be proactive in dealing with breaches of covid legislation. We will continue to enforce any breaches and work closely with our partners to take appropriate action”.
A spokesperson for Edge Hill University said “We are fully co-operating and working closely with the police to establish the details. This is completely unacceptable behaviour and we will be taking appropriate action in line with our disciplinary procedures. We cannot pre-empt the outcome of these investigations or predict any final sanctions that might be imposed, however the University is able to exclude students in the most serious cases.”
PCSO 7176 Neil Cronshaw