A busy New Year's Eve for policing in Northamptonshire sees officers deal with Covid breaches, an unlicensed music event and serious assaults
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A busy New Year's Eve for police in Northamptonshire saw officers deal with a high volume of incidents ranging from breaches of Covid restrictions to assaults and high risk missing people.
While the majority of people complied with Tier 4 restrictions and stayed at home to celebrate New Year's Eve quietly with members of their household, several reported breaches of Covid legislation were called in by concerned members of the public, and officers also responded to a number of serious incidents.
Superintendent Emma James, duty commander for the New Year period, said: "Although most people were celebrating safely at home, New Year's Eve still brought a number of challenges and significant demand for policing across the county.
"As well as attending more than 100 reports of Covid legislation breaches, officers had to deal with serious assaults, high risk missing people and safeguarding issues, all of which they managed diligently and effectively to ensure the safety of those involved.
"Although this was a much different New Year's Eve for all, it was still a busy night for our officers, who worked hard to deal with offenders and provide assistance and support to those who needed it."
Officers also responded to a large number of reported breaches of Covid legislation and issued more than 150 fixed penalty notices to people found to be breaching Tier 4 restrictions at various incidents.
Superintendent Elliot Foskett, silver commander for the Force’s response to Covid-19, said: "I know what a difficult year this has been for everyone and no one would want to have to celebrate the arrival of 2021 with such strict – but necessary - restrictions in place locally or nationally.
"I want to thank the vast majority of the public who celebrated safely at home, ensuring they protected the lives and safety of others and helped protect the NHS.
"While most people did adhere to the regulations, we did see a large increase of calls where people had decided to act irresponsibly and hold illegal gatherings. We attended more than 100 incidents and the majority of these related to parties or people meeting in houses.
"The Government has been very clear about the necessity for everyone to stick to the rules and people know they cannot meet in private houses under our Tier 4 restrictions.
"As a result, our officers have issued in excess of 150 fixed penalty notices across the county overnight, with those individuals required to pay a £200 fine."
Officers also received reports of an unlicensed music event attended by around 50 people in Cranford, near Kettering, which resulted in multiple fixed penalty notices being issued.
Supt Foskett added: "This event was an irresponsible and reckless act by the organisers and those who attended, showing a flagrant disregard for the safety of other people at this really challenging time.
"Officers issued multiple fines to those in attendance and the music equipment was seized. An investigation is ongoing to identify the organisers, when we will be issuing a £10,000 fine.
"The restrictions are clear and it is disappointing that a small minority of people continue to ignore the measures which are in place for their own and others safety. While the Christmas and New Year period are coming to an end, the county remains in Tier 4 and we will continue to respond robustly to reported breaches of Covid-19 legislation."