Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Pub fined £10,000 for curfew lock-in before lockdown

A pub has been fined £10,000 after police raided a lock-in that saw dozens of drinkers mixing indoors without social distancing an hour after curfew.

Police footage shows officers busting the The Spotted Dog in the Digbeth area of Birmingham at 11pm on October 30.

A pub worker used the looming second national lockdown as justification for the illegal party.

In a video of the raid released by West Midlands Police, an officer bangs on the door of the premises and repeatedly says ‘open the door, it’s the police.’

Once inside someone replies: ‘Oh, sorry’ and the camera captures throngs of boozers as music plays in the background.

Households were not allowed to meet inside at the time because Birmingham was in Tier 2 of the government’s coronavirus alert level.

An officer can be heard saying ‘I would see your drinks off and go home, very quickly.’

When asked why they are open, a man replies: ‘Everyone’s expecting us to be closed down next week.

‘I know everyone in here. My apologies.’

The officer tells him: ‘You can’t operate like this. It’s a blatant breach of the covid legislation.’

The man replies: ‘I know I was wrong tonight. So, my apologies.’

The clip ends with the officer saying to drinkers: ‘I’d be grateful if you would put those down, guys, because you are breaking the law.’

A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: ‘We’ve had to issue yet another £10,000 fine after finding a lock-in at a Birmingham pub, with households mixing inside an hour after it should have shut.

‘Our officers arrived at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth at 11pm on Friday 30 October to find music still blaring and a party atmosphere, with no social distancing in place.

‘Officers were told the gathering happened because people were expecting the pub to have to shut within days.

‘We’ve now issued a £10,000 fine because of the scale of the breach at the Warwick Street pub.

‘It’s the ninth time we’ve issued the so-called super fine, which are reserved for the most serious breaches of law.

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.’

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