'It was only five minutes': Police reveal footage of 'ridiculous' lockdown breaches

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read

Watch: Police release footage of ‘shocking’ lockdown breaches

These are the “shocking and ridiculous” examples of lockdown breaches that police have released after fining 142 people in one single weekend.

Leicestershire Police said a total of £57,800 penalty notices were handed out across their force area between Friday, 8 January and Sunday, 10 January, as England remained in strict lockdown.

Among the rule breakers included a group of people who gathered for a car meet in Castle Donington and a house party of more than 30 people in Leicester city centre.

Another person had travelled over 110 miles from York to Leicester, via Birmingham, to visit a friend.

A police officer highlights the COVID deaths to someone breaching lockdown regulations. (SWNS)
A police officer highlights the COVID deaths to someone breaching lockdown regulations. (SWNS)

Body-cam footage shows an officer telling him: "That's a bit of a kick in the teeth really after the year we've had so I'm going to give you a ticket.

"That's not reasonable is it? You've come way out."

Police were also called to an address in Stretton where six men from different households claimed they were having a business meeting over beer and food.

An officer reprimands people gathered inside a house during lockdown.
An officer reprimands people gathered inside a house during lockdown. (SWNS)
A driver who made a long journey was handed a ticket by police. (SWNS)
A driver who made a long journey was handed a ticket by police. (SWNS)

Three people caught in the same car together can be seen telling police they were "just chilling" after work and pleaded "it's only been for five minutes”.

Another clip shows a motorist driving to a hotel to give his friend £10 just days after he received a fine for another COVID breach.

One officer reveals he has battled coronavirus as he shut down a party of 10 people inside a Leicester house while the homeowner pleaded his innocence.

He can be heard saying: "I still don't know anyone who's got it, don't know anyone that's died from it."

The officer tells him: "I've had COVID, it's not very pleasant, believe me.

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"You don't seem to appreciate the severity of the situation our country is in, sir. Because of things like this, people are dying."

Commenting on the range of breaches, Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “Over the weekend we dealt with a number incidents where people had no excuse for their behaviour.

"Some of the reasons for being outside were ridiculous and this is what officers are having to deal with.”

She added: “There really is no excuse this far into the pandemic for people to be taking these risks."

An officer informs one man he will be getting a ticket for breaking lockdown rules. (SWNS)
An officer informs one man he will be getting a ticket for breaking lockdown rules. (SWNS)

While the numbers appear high, recently released data from the University College London showed that levels of compliance have been high throughout the pandemic.

Majority compliance with the rules – following them with some bending of the rules – is being reported by 96% of people, which is an improvement since the start of the autumn across all demographic groups.

Complete compliance is lower but still being reported by the majority of people – 56% for the week ending 10 January – and is now at comparable levels to back in May 2020.

Stephen Reicher, of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned against ministers blaming the public for increasing COVID cases.

He argued that simply blaming the public for the spread of COVID “avoids acknowledging the failures of government to provide the support necessary to follow the rules”.

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown