Police raid pub and find 50 people as landlord is handed £10,000 fine

Lockdown not lock in! Police raid pub at 11pm and find 50 people smoking, drinking and dancing to music as landlord is slapped with £10,000 fine

  • Officers found a party atmosphere at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, Birmingham
  • Even though it was before nationwide lockdown, it breached local restrictions
  • It was the ninth time West Midlands Police has issued the so-called super fine 

This is the moment a landlord was handed a £10,000 fine after police raided his pub at 11pm to find 50 people drinking, smoking and dancing to music. 

Officers arrived to find a party atmosphere at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, Birmingham, with no social distancing in place, on October 30.

Even though this was before the nationwide lockdown, it breached the area’s Tier Two rules which prohibit groups mixing inside. 

Officers arrived to find a party atmosphere at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth, Birmingham, with no social distancing in place, on October 30

This is the moment a landlord was handed a £10,000 fine after police raided his pub at 11pm to find 50 people drinking, smoking and dancing to music

Bodycam footage shows officers knocking on the door and demanding to be let in before telling punters: ‘I would see your drinks off and go home, very quickly’

It was ninth time West Midlands Police has issued the so-called super fine, which are reserved for the most serious breaches of law.

Bodycam footage shows officers knocking on the door and demanding to be let in before telling punters: ‘I would see your drinks off and go home, very quickly.’

The landlord is asked why he’s open at such a time, to which he replies: ‘Everybody’s expecting us to be closed down next week. I know everyone in here.’

Before reminding drinkers that they are breaking the law, an officer then tells him: ‘You can’t operate like this, it’s a blatant breach of the Covid legislation.’

The landlord replied: ‘I know I was wrong tonight. So, my apologies.’ 

Birmingham licensing Sgt Nick Giess said: ‘This was sadly yet another example of someone who should know the restrictions around coronavirus all too well putting people at risk.

‘There were around 40 to 50 people in there, smoking and dancing, and showing no regard for the seriousness of the situation the region and the country finds itself in.’

It comes as another £10,000 fine was issued in Manchester city centre after police found up to 50 people having a party inside a two-bedroom flat. 

Officers were called to reports of a disturbance at a residential property in The Works, Withy Grove, at around 12.30am last Sunday.

Greater Manchester Police said they found around 50-60 people inside a two-bedroom flat, and none of them were social distancing or wearing face coverings.

Music was being played through a sound system which included commercial-sized speakers.

After reviewing the evidence, police issued a £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) on Friday to the organiser – a 38-year-old man – for contravening the requirement not to hold, or be involved in the holding of, a gathering of more than 30 persons in a private dwelling.

The landlord is asked why he’s open at such a time, to which he replies: ‘Everybody’s expecting us to be closed down next week. I know everyone in here’

Before reminding drinkers that they are breaking the law, an officer then tells him: ‘You can’t operate like this, it’s a blatant breach of the Covid legislation.’

It was ninth time West Midlands Police has issued the so-called super fine, which are reserved for the most serious breaches of law

Superintendent Chris Hill said organising this flat party was ‘a clear act of non-compliance which put those in attendance at risk of Covid and could, ultimately, increase demand on the NHS’.

Elsewhere, four people were issued with fines of £200 each after Kent Police officers broke up a party of around 20 people at a flat in Canterbury.

Kent Police said the illegal gathering at the property in Adelaide Place was dispersed at around 1.30am on Thursday – the same day new national lockdown came into force in England.

Officers issued £200 FPNs to two men and two women who were all in their early 20s and organised the party.

Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix of Kent Police said: ‘Hosting large gatherings in the middle of a pandemic, especially on the first day of a new national lockdown, is completely unacceptable and we do not hesitate to take action against those who display such blatant disregard for the coronavirus regulations.’

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said this week he supported clamping down on the ‘tiny minority’ of people who are not willing to obey the lockdown and said there would be increased fines for repeat offenders.

His comments came after police chiefs warned people who ignore coronavirus restrictions to be prepared to ‘face the consequences of greater levels of enforcement’.

There is a £200 fine for every breach, which doubles with every offence up to a maximum of £6,400, as well as £10,000 for large gatherings.

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