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Covid: Police issue 26 fines at illegal poker tournament Published Date: 10/03/2021

The BBC have reported that twenty-six people at an illegal poker party have each been fined £800 for breaching Covid restrictions.

Lancashire Police found the tournament going on in a room above Roberto's Bar in Blackburn at 19:00 GMT on Saturday.

Bodycam footage shows the players, from as far away as Nottingham, laughing at officers when confronted.

Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said the party was "particularly insulting to the NHS staff who risked their [lives] to treat people with Covid".

He added that this was not the first time the bar had been dealt with for breaching Covid restrictions.

Last summer it was ordered to close under new public health protection laws granted to councils.

Police said a number of people could be seen playing poker across two tables. Food and drink were also being consumed.

'Flagrant abuse'

The £800 fixed penalty notices were issued to 26 people and the organiser and person responsible for the building has been reported for a court summons, police said.

Sgt Steve Dundon added: "This kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable and not only potentially puts lives in danger, it also risks extending the lockdown yet further."

He urged the public to "act responsibly and do the right thing in order to keep the people of Lancashire safe".

Lancashire Police said it was now working with Blackburn with Darwen Council to consider whether to seek a review of the premises' licence.

Deputy council leader Phil Riley said: "It's incredibly disappointing to hear of this flagrant abuse of the lockdown rules."

Source:  BBC news