Manchester

Coronavirus: Greater Manchester Police warning after 660 parties shut down

Covid related gatherings map Image copyright GMP
Image caption There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between 25 March and 7 April

Greater Manchester Police has warned people not to breach lockdown rules over Easter after it had to break up 660 parties during the pandemic.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said "each and every one of us need take this seriously".

There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between 25 March and 7 April, the force said.

That included 494 house parties - some with DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles - and 166 street parties.

One woman in Bury became the first person in Greater Manchester to be charged under the Coronavirus Act 2020 after police had to repeatedly shut down one of the gatherings.

The force, which has released updated figures, also had to deal with 122 different groups gathering to play sports, 173 more gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said such behaviour was "completely unacceptable".

"They are putting everybody at risk," he said.

"The vast majority of people in Greater Manchester are observing the guidelines, but we cannot have a situation where we've got people flouting the rules.

"If you are going out and about you are putting at risk the most vulnerable members of our community and you need to have a good hard look at yourself."

Image caption Chief Constable Ian Hopkins warned against breaching the rules over the Easter weekend

The region's deputy mayor for policing and crime, Beverley Hughes, said the number coronavirus-related incidents had risen considerably.

Officers responded to about 500 callouts a day last weekend, she said.

However, she said calls for enforcement for businesses not complying with the rules had fallen.

Mr Hopkins said: "We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period, however it is vital that we follow the government guidelines.

"The single most important action we can take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to save lives."

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