Cumbria coach company reported after anti-lockdown protest in Manchester

Cumbrians were found to be involved in a large gathering in Manchester yesterday – which saw a number of police officers injured, and multiple fines handed out.

Greater Manchester Police were called to the gathering at Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, where a large group had met up, breaching the national lockdown rules.

More than 600 people were believed to be involved – with a group of Cumbrians also there, having travelled to the event by coach earlier in the day.

The driver and company they work for have been both been reported to ‘the relevant industry regulator’, police said.

Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain said: “I would like to use this opportunity to publically condemn this gathering.

“Both the organisers and attendees were irresponsible – increasing demand on police who are also responding to calls regarding serious incidents and people who are in immediate danger across Greater Manchester.

“Before and during this gathering, officers followed guidance to engage with the organiser and attendees, explain the restrictions and encourage compliance. Unfortunately, the encouragement was ignored which resulted in officers progressing to enforcement.”

Officers then issued a dispersal order, arrested four people on suspicion of public order offences, and issued 24 £200 fines.

The force is also investigating who organised the gathering, and will issue them a fine once found.

Chief Constable Hussain continued: “Whilst responding to this gathering, a number of officers were injured.

“This is unacceptable behaviour towards our officers who were simply doing their job and protecting people. Investigators will now work to identify those responsible and ensure they face justice.

“I would also like to remind members of the public that these restrictions are to control the spread of Covid-19 and protect everyone – including you and your loved ones, as well as the NHS.

“I encourage you to do your bit to fight the virus by complying with the restrictions and staying at home.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News