Lancashire pubs and gym named by police after weekend lockdown breaches
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Lancashire Police said it had been called out to "hundreds" of reports of lockdown breaches over the weekend, with local pubs and gyms among the businesses suspected of flouting restrictions.
Deputy chief constable Terry Woods said most of the reported breaches were in response to gatherings at homes and public spaces, with the majority of those a result of tip-offs from the public.
But some businesses were also reported and have now been "named and shamed" by the county's police force, with one pub landlord hit with a £200 fine for allegedly breaching regulations.
The following are just some of the "hundreds" of suspected breaches that Lancashire Police said they had been called to at the weekend.
The Bridge Pub in Lytham Road, Blackpool
At around 4.30am on Sunday (January 10), police received a report that The Bridge Pub in Lytham Road, Blackpool, was open.
Officers attended and found three men inside who said they lived on the premises.
This morning, when asked about the incident, the pub manager again explained that the three men found inside had been living in the premises and had not breached restrictions.
He said: "Yes, this is true, the police visited us and left as there was no wrongdoing, only people that reside in the venue were here.
"The neighbours had called the police as they could hear music, which the police also confirmed they could only hear if they put their ear to the door, so again, no wrongdoing."
Lancashire Police did not comment further on the incident, but said the matter has been referred to the resort's licensing department.
Gym in Roman Way, Preston
On Friday (January 8), at around 6.15pm, officers received a report of a suspected Covid breach at a gym in Roman Way, Preston.
Officers responded and found people training inside. The owner’s details were taken and an investigation is ongoing. Lancashire Police said its officers continued to monitor the gym for further breaches over the weekend.
The Old Hall pub in Heysham Road, Heysham
Police were called to The Old Hall pub at around 11pm on Friday where seven people were found inside.
Officers established that four of those people lived on the premises, but two others were given police advice and asked to leave the pub.
One man was also arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, but was later 'de-arrested'. Police said the man will be 'spoken with' at a later date.
The landlord was given a £200 fine (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) and the matter has been referred to the licensing department for further investigation.
Covid testing centre, Berkeley Street, Preston
At around 1pm on Saturday (January 9), police received a report of a man filming outside the Covid walk-through testing site at the UCLan car park in Berkeley Street, Preston.
Officers attended the area to investigate but the man had left before they arrived. Police said the filming provoked concern because it was considered a "non-essential" outdoor activity.
New data published on Friday revealed that Lancashire Police had handed out more than 1,500 lockdown fines since last March - the fourth highest of England's 43 police forces.
On Sunday evening (January 10), deputy chief constable Terry Woods expressed his frustration at the casual flouting of lockdown restrictions, as the county continues to battle a surge in new coronavirus cases.
He tweeted: "Sadly, a busy weekend concerning blatant COVID breaches. Hundreds of incidents reported by the public.
"Reports of pubs,a gym & even someone filming staff at testing centre. Summary - not enough people staying home,some stretching excuses meanwhile NHS & public services are creaking folks."
You can read his full statement here.
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