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A man and woman have been given £10,000 fixed penalty notices after officers closed down a wedding party in Salford and a house party in Bolton.
At around 7.45pm last night (Tuesday 3 November 2020) police were called to a report of a large gathering at a warehouse on Great Clowes Street, Salford.
Officers arrived and dispersed a group of around 200 people who were attending an organised wedding party which had catering, musicians, a MC and sound equipment. Screens had also been put up in an attempt to prevent the event being seen from outside.
Following the dispersal of this wedding party, a man, believed to be the organiser, was issued with a £10,000 fine for the breach of coronavirus legislation.
The previous night (Monday 2 November 2020) at around 10.40pm, police were called to reports of a party at an address on Morris Green Lane, Bolton.
Officers arrived and dispersed a group of around 40 people.
Following the dispersal of this party, a woman, believed to be the organiser, was issued with a £10,000 fine for the breach of coronavirus legislation.
Superintendent Andrew Sidebotham, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "It's disappointing to see such blatant flouting of the rules when so many of us are making our own personal sacrifices in order to protect our community and keep others safe in the midst of this pandemic.
"At both parties there were a large number of both children and adults present with no social distancing in place, which not only puts those attending at risk but also anyone in the wider public who may come into contact with any of these people.
"Not only do blatant breaches of this kind put people at risk from a health perspective, but they put pressure on our already stretched policing resources taking them away from people who may be in urgent need of help.
"I would like to warn anyone who is thinking of disregarding the rules that GMP will be working alongside our partner agencies to ensure we keep our communities safe, and anyone caught flouting the legislation risks not only receiving the maximum penalty of a £10,000 fine, but also the potential of prosecution for their reckless actions.
"I know that the majority of people are abiding by the rules and I would like to thank you for the personal sacrifices you are making in your efforts in helping to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe, but those who aren’t should expect to face the necessary enforcement, especially when it’s on the scale as seen here in Salford and Bolton."
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, Salford City Council said he was shocked and disgusted at such irresponsible behaviour.
“I welcome the actions of the police and we wholeheartedly support them,” he said.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: “Holding a gathering of this size during a pandemic shows a level of reckless selfishness that is almost beyond comprehension.
“On behalf of the majority of Bolton residents who have followed the rules and made sacrifices to keep others safe, I am utterly appalled by this behaviour.
“As we enter new national restrictions, this £10,000 fine sends a clear message that any flouting of the rules simply will not be tolerated in Bolton.”