Worst Covid lockdown breaches include boat party with tickets £30-a-head

One of the UK's most senior police officers has slammed the most flagrant breaches of lockdown restrictions, which include a £30-a-head boat party with more than 40 people in attendance.

National Police Chiefs' Council chairman Martin Hewitt has said his officers will no longer "waste time" reasoning with the worst violators of the coronavirus lockdown rules.

He promised his workforce will punish people who have "no regard" for the safety of others as he revealed almost 45,000 fixed penalty notices across the country.

Mr Hewitt outlined a series of the more extreme examples of "irresponsible behaviour".

They included a boat party in Hertfordshire attended by more than 40 people, where people paid £30-a-head.

Another example was a minibus full of people travelling from different households from Cheltenham into Wales for a walk.

Mr Hewitt also referenced a part in Surrey where the organiser claimed it was a business event and a man who was advertising a rave on social media.

He told a Downing Street press briefing: "Organising parties or other large gatherings is dangerous, selfish and totally irresponsible in light of the current threat that we face.

"Organisers will be fined. But so too will the people who choose to attend."

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He also warned that people would be fined for more everyday breaches of coronavirus regulations, such as not wearing a face mask on public transport.

Mr Hewitt said: "Not wearing a face covering on a bus or a train is dangerous.

"It risks the lives of other travellers including those critical workers who must continue to use public transport to do their important work. So on those systems, unless you are exempt, you can expect a fine."

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Police can issue £10,000 fines for severe breaches of lockdown breaches.

They are reserved for people organising anti-lockdown protests, raves, student parties and large weddings.

Smaller fines start at £100.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she will support police officers who take strong action. She blasted people who are putting police officers and members of the public at risk by not complying with the restrictions.

She said: "If you do not play your part our selfless police officers – who are out there risking their own lives every day to keep us safe – they will enforce the regulations.

"A minority of people are putting the health of the nation at risk by not following the rules. We are now at a critical stage in our battle against this virus.

“To protect those that you care about, and the capacity of our hospitals to protect us all, please stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

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