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Police 'spoil' party as they raid lockdown birthday bash

Police have released footage of a party involving around 40 people in Manchester city centre which they attended following reports of a COVID breach on Friday night on Deansgate. Shortly before 9pm on Friday 12 February, officers began to receive initial reports of a gathering of six people at a private residence in Beetham Tower but were unable to establish any evidence of this. Further reports were made as the night progressed and at around 2.50am on Saturday morning, a report was made of a fight involving 50 people at the property and officers attended. Some of the group, aged in their 20s and 30s, dispersed on police arrival and a review is ongoing into retrospective action for those present at the event, including the prospect of the maximum £10,000 fixed penalty notice (FPN) for the organiser. The gathering at Beetham Tower was one of 74 incidents attended by GMP’s dedicated operation to significant COVID breaches, Operation Ocean, over the weekend (Friday 12 – Sunday 14 February 2021). A total of 185 FPNs have been issued, including several £800 fines, for incidents including an 18th birthday party on Saturday night attended by at least 30 people at an address in Newton Heath, and a staff party at an industrial estate in Salford attended by 17 people on Friday evening.

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