Number of parties broken up in West Midlands now at 96

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image captionPolice disrupted 96 gatherings on Saturday night

The number of illegal gatherings and parties broken up by police across the weekend has now been put at 96.

Previously, West Midlands Police said officers had been to more than 70 unlicensed gatherings and called it another busy Saturday night.

Up to 100 people were dispersed from Babbs Park in Solihull as well and a street party in Northfield, with marquees and a DJ, was also disbanded.

Birmingham is on a government watch list due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The government recently announced police in England will be able to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people up to £10,000.

Waheed Saleem, deputy police and crime commissioner, said the gatherings were not just breeding grounds for the virus, but also breeding grounds for criminality.

"Although we could have done with these fines far earlier, I think these fines will act as a deterrent of people who are gathering, who are organising these illegal gatherings," he said.

Ch Supt Claire Bell said police had acted on information received by local communities.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionPeople in Birmingham city centre on Sunday after it was announced the city had been added to a watch list as an "area of enhanced support"

"While we didn't see hundreds gathering like in previous weekends, it's important to remember it's still illegal for meet ups and parties of more than 30 people," she said.

"We always try to be proportionate with our response and, given the numbers at the majority of the gatherings, we were able to engage with people and remind them of the health risks.

"We're already preparing for next weekend and the introduction of tougher powers against event organisers which we'll be looking to enforce."

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