Fines issued and 13 arrests at gathering in Liverpool city centre
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We would like to thank the people of Liverpool for their patience as we dealt with a group of people who gathered in the city centre today, Saturday 21st November.
The group moved around the city centre from around 1pm and a total of 13 people were arrested on suspicion of offences including public order offences and breaches of Coronavirus legislation.
Officers also issued 25 fixed penalty notices for breach of Covid legislation and 10 dispersal notices.
A 36-year-old man from Kirkby was arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker after an officer was pushed to the chest on Church Street.
Four were arrested on suspicion of encouraging or assisting the commission of Covid offences, five people were arrested on suspicion of breaching Covid legislation, one was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, and two were arrested for failing to provide their name and address after breaching Covid legislation.
Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine said: “The vast majority of people in Merseyside have made huge sacrifices since March, missing weddings, funerals and family celebrations in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.
“We have seen infection rates driven down in Merseyside thanks to the commitment of so many people, and already more than 140,000 have taken part in a mass testing pilot here in Merseyside to help the national effort to protect life and get back to normality. They are a credit to this county.
“So it will be incredibly frustrating for all those people to see that a minority of selfish individuals chose to flout laws brought in to protect the lives of people across Merseyside, putting our communities and themselves at risk. More than 50,000 people have died with coronavirus in the UK and there is a responsibility on us all to do everything within our power to prevent more.
“We all want to get back to normality as soon as possible, but the actions of those people who gathered in Liverpool today risk delaying that return and prolonging the suffering of so many.”
Chief Supt Waine added: “This pandemic has, understandably, left many fearful of contracting and passing on coronavirus. The sight of a large group in the city centre will alarm many who are now well aware of the risk large groups can pose to the spreading of this virus.
“We introduced a Section 34 Dispersal Zone in the city centre, and deployed significant resources into the city to ensure we could deal with this gathering, encouraging those involved to disperse and taking enforcement action against those committing flagrant breaches of covid legislation - particularly those suspected to have organised the gathering.
"Their actions have posed a significant risk to public health, and we will continue to study CCTV and bodycam to identify offenders and bring them to justice.
“We have arrested 15 people so far and dispersed many more. Our officers – deployed to encourage people to do the right thing and to carry our enforcement to protect the public – have been subjected to mindless abuse from many of those gathered, but continued to carry out their duties with complete professionalism.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the public, our partners, NHS staff, emergency services and our own frontline officers, who are doing all they can to help protect us all.
“I know the vast majority of the public will support us as we continue to take action against those who choose to deliberately break the law.”