A FOUR-PIECE band are facing £1,000 fines each after their performance at a birthday party in an empty shop was raided by police.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson described the incident at the weekly regional Covid-19 media briefing on Friday (March 12).
Over last weekend, there were 115 Covid breaches reported to police – along with 50 £200 fines, 76 £800 fines and 11 £1,000 fines handed out.
Mr Jamieson said: “Some of the breaches were an empty shop premises converted into a birthday party venue, food and drink and a four-piece band, even.
“24 people were found inside, 12 had £200 fines and the band will have to forego any fee they make because they are each facing £1,000 fines – probably the most expensive evening of playing they have ever done.
“A large gathering of students in University of Warwick had to be dispersed.
“There was a shisha lounge found to be operating and a £1,000 fine issued to the owner.
“There was also a pub where 20 people were found playing poker. They certainly lost a lot of money playing poker that night because they were all issued with £800 fines and a £1,000 fine for the licensee who was organising it.
“There was a children’s birthday party and six adults were given £200 fines and the organiser a £1,000 fine.
“We all recognise that people want to have parties for birthdays and celebrations, weddings and so on.
“But in the present circumstances we can’t do so I’m afraid until such time as it is safe to do so.
“West Midlands Police will contine to enforce the regulations and law as long as it is needed and I hope that is a disincentive to those people who are putting their own and other people’s lives at risk by carrying on breaching regulations.”
He said from the week March 1 to 8 there were “fewer breaches than recorded previously” – but nevertheless 1,438 directions to leave were given out – for which 279 people received a fixed penalty notice.
Speaking about the return to schools this week, he added: “I am delighted to hear about the good return to schools. It is very encouraging.
“I think the schools have had a better attendance than they would normally have at this time of year anyway.
“It shows some parents are very anxious to get their children out of the house and back into school which is totally understandable.”