Police break up street party with DJ and BBQ during coronavirus lockdown in Nottingham

POLICE had to break up a street party with a DJ and barbecue during coronavirus lockdown in Nottingham.

Officers were called to the "out of control" party after a number of calls from concerned members of the public.

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A large number of people gathered on Teesbrook Drive, with a video footage showing a DJ playing music while a woman tried to control the situation on a microphone.

Residents told police they were worried about "the large number of attendees and some people breaching social distancing rules" on Friday May 8.

Police officers issued advice about social distancing rules but were forced to issue two fines for those who ignored them.

Neighbourhood Inspector Gordon Fenwick, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Officers who attended engaged with some of the people present and gave strong words of advice to those who were not social distancing.

"Officers remained at the event and issued two fines to individuals who decided not to follow the advice that was given.

"The officers spoke to and worked with the event organiser who tried to reinforce the message about people needing to follow the social distancing rules.

"Parts of the group began to move on and most of the people had left by 9pm."

Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin added: "We have been clear from the outset that our approach during the coronavirus outbreak has been to engage with members of the public, explain the current Covid-19 regulations and encourage people to follow the instructions.

"We have only used enforcement when it has been absolutely necessary to do so.

"The vast majority of people our officers have spoken to have been really understanding and have listened to the advice we have given them.

"It’s pleasing that in this instance members of the community have been really supportive, actively helping with bringing some normality and encouraging people to follow the rules.

"Our priority is to keep people safe and we have found, as we did with the incident on this street, that by escalating our response appropriately and only where necessary we have resolved things safely."

Yesterday it emerged police have no powers to enforce social distancing, as senior officers said it would be down to the public to ensure others stuck to the new rules.

The latest Government guidance maintains the advice to remain two metres apart when out in public spaces, such as parks.

But because social distancing is not part of the coronavirus law, police officers are powerless to keep people apart.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "It's not for the police to enforce social distancing. That's guidance, and that's everyone's responsibility."


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