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Tuesday, Mar 09, 2021

Partygoers claim they didn't know of pandemic as they 'don't watch the news'

Partygoers claim they didn't know of pandemic as they 'don't watch the news'

Guests at a house party that was shut down by police have claimed they were ‘unaware of the global pandemic’ because they ‘never watch the news’.

Amid a crackdown on people breaking lockdown rules, officers were sent to a house in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on Saturday night after several neighbours reported there was a party going on.

When challenged over why they were breaking lockdown rules, the occupants responded that they were unaware of the restrictions.

A Hampshire Police tweet said: ‘Officers attended address in Basingstoke following several reports of a party at an address, and breaching lockdown guidelines.

‘The occupants were spoken to and claimed to be unaware of the global pandemic, as they never watch the news! #ThereAreNoWords #PoliceControlRoom’

A spokesman confirmed the force is still investigating the incident. He said: ‘We can confirm that officers were called out to an incident at 8.33pm on Saturday 16 January to reports of a party at a residential property on Guernsey Close.

‘Officers spoke to the individuals inside the property who were advised about the current Government guidance. An investigation is underway with a view to reporting the individuals involved for summons following a Covid breach.’

Police officers across the country were forced to act this weekend after a minority of Brits ignored instructions to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.



 A police car patrols as people exercise in Richmond Park over the weekend


There have been dozens of examples of house parties being broken up and people being stopped and fined for driving excessive distances to see friends or exercise.

Nigel Harrison, assistant chief constable of North Wales Police, has warned that it’s ‘not acceptable to pick and choose the laws you follow and the laws you don’t.’

His force stopped a driver who had made the 270 mile trip from Portsmouth to pick up a front bumper for his car.

Another car was stopped near Anglesey and officers discovered the occupants had come from Scotland to visit friends.

Mr Harrison said: ‘We all know the law by now and know exactly what is the right thing to do. It is on every single news channel, radio bulletins and in the newspapers. There’s no escaping the fact that people have been told to stay home.



Police speak to people in St Martins Square, Birmingham on Saturday


‘It is not acceptable to pick and choose the law you follow and the laws you don’t. This is not a dress rehearsal and people will live and die on the actions we all choose.’

Greater Manchester Police issued 100 fines to people breaking the restrictions between 3pm on Friday and 7am Sunday morning.

A party held in a flat in Salford was broken up by officers after guests posted pictures on Instagram.

Elsewhere, parties involving up to 40 guests in Hulme, Cheetham Hill and Bolton were all closed down by police and attendees were fined.


Police patrol the promenade and seafront in Bournemouth


Chief Inspector Carol Martin said there is still a ‘minority who think they are above the law’.

He added: ‘It is incredibly frustrating to those abiding by the rules that some people are showing such a blatant disregard for the current regulations. Not only are they putting their own lives and those of their loves ones at stake, they also risk undoing the hard work of everyone else continuing to make the necessary sacrifices at this time.’

In another incident, four friends from different households were fined £200 each after they drove 68 miles to get to McDonald’s.

They had driven from the Manchester area to Staffordshire to pick up their takeaway.

In London, 49 people were fined for attending a car meet in Romford on Saturday night.

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