Video released to highlight the dangers of large gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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"Everyone’s going to be leaving one at a time, so we can process you guys and get your details”.
That’s the message from a Hampshire Constabulary officer at the front door of a property in Portsmouth where a party was taking place. Members of the public start pushing and shoving to try and force their way out.
That’s the reality of policing the pandemic, where under national restrictions you should not be meeting with anyone outside of your household or support bubble, either indoors or outdoors, to limit the spread of Covid-19.
We attended the party on Saturday 30 January after receiving a report from a member of the public. A total of nineteen people were reported for summons in relation to £800 fixed penalty notices following the incident.
Assistant Chief Constable Maggie Blyth said: “This party is not a one-off, we’re increasingly seeing reports of gatherings of people from multiple households as some members of the public are struggling to observe the national restrictions in place. Not all these gatherings are of this size, but they are all breaching the current Health Protection Regulations and putting lives at risk.
“The message is simple, stay at home.
“We’re releasing this video to demonstrate just how serious incidents like this are. The transmission vectors available for the virus in circumstances like this are numerous. The people attending this party were putting themselves and their loved ones at risk from Covid-19, not to mention the wider community. It’s actions like this that place increased and unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
“Anyone who does not follow the Health Protection Regulations faces enforcement action.
“It’s disappointing that the minority are flouting the regulations when the vast majority of people in our communities have made such a concerted effort in such challenging times.
“Our officers will do all that they can to keep our communities safe. We will continue to follow the tried and tested approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging people to comply with the restrictions. However I continue to emphasise to our teams that robust enforcement action should be taken as required, where blatant breaches in public places or private premises are reported to us.
"Limiting the spread of infection is everybody’s responsibility, and not just down to the police or enforcement. We will continue to work with our health colleagues, businesses, government, hospitality owners, local authorities, universities, and others, as we ensure that we all play our part in keeping our communities as safe as possible throughout the pandemic”.