A wedding reception with more than 100 guests has been broken up by police amid fears local lockdowns are being undermined by “blatant breaches” of coronavirus restrictions.
Officers in Blackburn found more than 100 guests attending a reception on Sunday evening and were forced to disperse the party.
The region is currently subject to local restrictions to prevent people socialising with other households after a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.
In a Facebook post, Blackburn and Darwen Police said: “Disappointing incident in Blackburn this evening.
“Officers have attended a report of a significant breach of Covid restrictions, and found over 100 guests at a wedding reception.
“This is a clear breach of both local and national restrictions that puts everyone attending at risk.
“Officers have engaged with the attendees and at police instruction the gathering was dispersed without further issue.
“Please work with us to help keep everyone safe by following the guidelines and restrictions.”
In Greater Manchester, where new restrictions have also been imposed, a fixed penalty notice was issued to the organiser of a wedding with more than 50 guests and a marquee.
The wedding in Whalley Range, Manchester, was one of 54 reported coronavirus breaches between 3pm and 11pm on Sunday in Greater Manchester, police said.
Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Pilling said “Following large gatherings on both Friday and Saturday night, we have had to attend further events yesterday evening.
“We’ve been really open with the public about the pressure these calls place on already stretched and limited resources and I really need people to understand what is at stake here.
“Can you imagine a vulnerable loved one not being able to get through to 999 when in an emergency, because our phone lines are tied up with people reporting illegal parties? It’s this serious.
“I feel we’ve been really fair with the public, engaging and explaining with them and only enforcing as a last resort.
“However, these blatant breaches continue and we owe it to our communities to thoroughly investigate these types of reports and prosecute those involved. We will continue to enforce when there is a blatant disregard for the rules.
“We understand that the vast majority of people across Greater Manchester are doing the right thing and it’s incredibly disappointing that these people are being continuously let down by a small majority, who are selfishly flouting the very guidance that is there to keep us safe. I want to thank those who are doing their bit.”