Police in Birmingham, UK given powers to charge those flouting lockdown rules

It comes after West Midlands Police had to break up 70 illegal parties in one night in the city on Saturday.

Birmingham Police tweeted on Saturday night: “Our officers are out tonight responding to calls about large gatherings.

“Please stick to government guidelines and keep safe. House party just dispersed in #Quinton lots of people complying with our advice tonight.

However, the obscene amount of gatherings has caused the city council and Downing Street to pull together to enforce measures.

And Birmingham was then placed on the government watch list this week after a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

And now the authorities in England’s second largest city have been given powers to shut down pubs and other businesses flouting coronavirus rules.

The local authority said in a statement that much of current guidance was “not legally enforceable” and that the changes would remedy the situation.

The extra power to close businesses “strengthens our position to take action where required”, they said in a statement.

Police can also ban weddings and funerals and public parks may also be closed.

“Closures of parks and pubs would lessen the chances of illegal parties continuing on into the night,” Birmingham council said.

Councillor Ian Ward said the measures will be implemented from tomorrow.

“Much of the guidance in force at present suggests that businesses or people should do/not do certain things which are not legally enforceable. From Wednesday, a number of measures will be changed to a position where people/businesses must comply which creates a legally enforceable obligation and strengthens our position to take action where required,” he said.

“We must all continue to follow all the relevant safety guidance in order to protect our families, friends and work colleagues. Most importantly staying disciplined now is a price worth paying when compared to the cost of damaging the future life chances of our city’s children.

“Whilst the impact of Covid-19 may be felt over the next few years, the negative impacts upon children not being present at school will last a lifetime

“Staying focused now will also support our fragile economic recovery in the long term. No one wants to see a continual ‘stop, start’ approach as to what citizens can do and where they can go, least of all our business community.”



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