Police called to reports of lock-in at Taunton pub

Police last week disrupted a number of house parties and a pub lock-in, which breached current COVID-19 regulations.

Such gatherings are not currently permitted in England to prevent the spread of the virus.

Calls officers have attended in recent days include:

At approximately 11.15pm on Tuesday 20 April, police were called to The Waggon, in Taunton amid reports of a lock-in. Officers from outside the premises observed a small number of people inside the premises drinking and dancing. Seven fixed penalty notices were issued.

A house party was reported to police at about 11pm on Friday 23 April in Redland’s Alexandra Park. A number of people initially attempted to hide from police before eventually coming downstairs when an officer said they were going to search other rooms. Six people, in their 20s, received £800 fixed penalty notices for organising a house party of more than 15 people.

Earlier that same evening, officers were also dispatched to a house party in St Pauls Road, in Bristol, where eight people were fined £200.

Inspector Ruth Gawler said:

“The vast majority of people have played their part by adhering to the lockdown rules at the start of the year and we’re thankful they are continuing to comply with the restrictions and advice currently in place.

However, there is a small minority of people who are selfishly choosing to break the rules that are designed to help save lives.

Our approach to dealing with such incidents remains the same – we will engage with the public, explain the rules and encourage them to comply. But enforcement through fines remains an option, especially for those responsible for the blatant and deliberate breaches we’ve been called out to deal with in recent days.

We fully understand everyone is delighted by the easing of restrictions, but we continue to urge people to be cautious and follow the rules to limit the spread of COVID, which has already claimed thousands of lives across the country.”

Approximately 55,000 COVID-19 breaches have been reported to Avon and Somerset Police since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

A total of 2,193 of fixed penalty notices have been issued during that time.