Updated statement on Manchester City Centre protest
Main article content
Police attended a small demonstration regarding public sector health pay at around 12noon today, Sunday 7 March 2021 in Manchester City Centre.
A crowd of around 40 people had gathered in contravention of current lockdown legislation, in particular legislation concerning protests.
GMP sought to engage early with the organisers and those gathering to highlight the unlawfulness of their activity, using the first of the four Es approach - engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance with legislation.
Most people thereafter dispersed.
One woman aged 65 was arrested for failing to provide details having refused the opportunity to leave when asked.
She later provided details and was de-arrested and given a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice.
The organiser of the protest, a woman aged 61, has been issued a £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice.
Superintendent Caroline Hemingway said: "With the positive step of schools reopening tomorrow, it is vital that people continue to follow Government legislation on social distancing and avoid gathering illegally in large numbers.
"Regardless of one's sympathies for a protest's cause, we would ask the public to maintain social distancing and follow legislation to prevent a rise in infections and provide the best possible chance of a further easing of restrictions in the weeks to come.
"We sought to engage with and peaceably disperse those attending this afternoon's protest, explaining that the gathering was in contravention of Government lockdown rules.
"Unfortunately officers were met with a degree of non-compliance and it was therefore necessary to enforce issue FPNs."