In Brief

Coronavirus: the most brazen lockdown breaches

One person told police they had nipped out to ‘buy drugs’

Police forces across the UK have been baffled by a number of people refusing to comply with lockdown measures.

Forces in Wales have released examples of some of the bizarre justifications people have given for travel.

They include trying out a new catapult, taking a quad bike for a “walk” and even buying drugs, says the BBC.

Police said that while the vast majority of people had followed social distancing rules, “a small minority had selfishly put others at risk” and had been fined.

With five weeks having passed since lockdown restrictions were introduced, police say ignorance is no longer an excuse. Those who flout the rules will face “greater enforcement activity”, including a fixed penalty notice of £60, they say.

These are some of the most brazen attempts to sidestep the coronavirus lockdown.

24-hour party people

Greater Manchester Police was forced to break up 660 parties last weekend.

“That included 494 house parties – some with DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles – and 166 street parties,” says the BBC.

Chief constable Ian Hopkins said that “each and every one of us need take this seriously”, while Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said such behaviour was “completely unacceptable”.

"They are putting everybody at risk,” said Burnham.

Window of opportunity

A driver breached the coronavirus lockdown to go and pick up some £15 windows with his wife in the boot of his car.

The man was pulled over by police on the M6 in Cheshire after collecting the windows, and told police his wife had to sit in the boot because she “could not fit in the vehicle” for the journey back to Coventry.

North West Motorway Police issued the man with a traffic offence report.

You’re licked

Police arrested two men after they were seen on CCTV allegedly licking their hands and then wiping them on vegetables, meat and fridge handles in a Morecambe Sainsbury’s.

Supermarket staff were forced to thoroughly disinfect the store and destroy products, Lancashire Police said.

Inspector James Martin said the behaviour was “flabbergasting”.

Couldn’t worm their way out of a fine

Two men were fined by police after making a 100-mile round trip to dig for worms.

Howick Coastguard Rescue Team and their colleagues from Seahouses were joined by Northumbria Police officers, after lights were spotted at Emblestones at Low Newton on Tuesday evening, reports the Northumberland Gazette.

A spokesperson for Howick Coastguard said: “The search team quickly located two males who were digging for worms during the low water period.

“The search team maintained their social distancing and escorted the pair back to the Coastguard rendezvous point.

“The pair were given stern words of advice by both HM Coastguard and also Northumbria Police officers on scene.

“This was a totally needless and certainly non-essential journey… the country has been closed down for a reason.”

White cliffs, red faces

Police in Dover moved on a group of people who had travelled from Croydon in south London for a fishing trip.

Port of Dover Police said: “Our PCs dispersed a group of people this morning that had travelled all the way down from Croydon to fish off Shakespeare Beach.

“Please adhere to government instructions, if you don’t, you’ll be dealt with under the new legislation.”

Welsh rebels

Gwent Police shared some of the most bizarre reasons they have heard for people flouting lockdown rules, reports Wales Online:

  • “I’ve just been to feed the fish.”
  • “I’ve been to buy nail clippers for the dog.”
  • “My son is a rubbish cook so I take him food every day.”
  • “I’ve bought a new catapult and wanted to try it out.”
  • “I’m giving my friend a lift to collect her car that had been seized for no insurance.”
  • “No idea what you are talking about? I don’t watch the news what’s going on?”
  • “My dogs need different areas to walk, otherwise it affects them.”
  • “How much is the fine - I will take it?”
  • “I’m taking my mate into Newport to buy drugs.”
  • “I am taking my quad bike for a walk and I promise I am not going to ride it around a field.”
  • “I thought I heard someone may be in trouble, so I came to have a look but I don't know their name or remember the person who told me it.”
Snow joke

A group of ten people who were stopped by police on their way from London to North Wales were sent home after being reported for breaking lockdown rules.

The group, travelling in two separate vehicles, made the five-hour journey from the English capital on Sunday, only to be stopped by police near their destination on the A5 in Bethesda.

“They told officers they were intending to go walking in Snowdonia, the mountainous National Park in North Wales,” says the regional newspaper Express and Star. Instead, “they were then ordered to go home immediately, police escorting their cars to the A-road back to the south to begin the 10-hour round-trip home.”

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