A 28-year-old man from Grantham was among 23 people who were each fined £800 after police broke up a birthday party in Swindon over the weekend.
Wiltshire Police arrived at the large gathering at a property on Primrose Close, Haydon Wick, Swindon at around 9.30pm on Saturday, January 30.
Officers broke up the party, which breached coronavirus restrictions, and dispersed the guests before ordering them home.
Police had found a number of vehicles parked outside the house and loud music coming from inside.
When they entered the property via the garden gate they found two men cooking food on the barbecue.
More food and alcohol was laid out inside, with the homeowner telling police that it was his birthday.
He said that his friends had travelled from as far afield as Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire to attend his party. The only person from Lincolnshire in attendance – a Grantham man – was fined.
The 23 people who were fined were aged between 21 and 64, including the homeowner. They were fined for participating in a gathering of more than 15 people in a private dwelling.
Kier Pritchard, Chief Constable at Wiltshire Police, said: “It is astounding to me that people still believe it is acceptable to travel across the country to attend a birthday party.
“The recent news that the UK has now passed the terrible milestone of 100,000 COVID deaths is a tragic reminder of exactly what our country is dealing with right now, and I cannot fathom the thinking behind a decision to host or attend a house party during these unprecedented times.
“I have been clear that our policing response must continue to be robust, fair and consistent and this enforcement action is exactly what I would expect my officers to be doing with such a flagrant breach.
“Our NHS services, including our local hospitals here in Swindon and Wiltshire, remain under immense pressure and incidents like this are a slap in the face of those staff working tirelessly around the clock to care for the seriously ill and save lives.
“I hope these fines serve as a stark warning to anyone considering breaching the government restrictions. You are not above the law, and we will take appropriate action against the small minority who continue to flout the rules and put lives at risk.”
Meanwhile, Humberside Police said their officers issued 40 fixed penalty notices over the weekend.
Twenty five were issued as a result of various indoor gatherings in Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Market Weighton and Hull. Of these, a total of 18 fines were from Grimsby and Scunthorpe.