Police fine 29 at Blackburn wedding party

Dozens of guests have been fined for travelling from as far as Inverness to an illegal wedding party in Lancashire.

People at the event tried to flee when police arrived at the furniture factory in the Mill Hill district of Blackburn on Monday.

Officers who rounded up guests, issuing 29 fines, described the scenes as being like “a game of hide-and-seek”.

Sgt Steve Dundon, of Lancashire Police, said the party was a “slap in the face” to those following lockdown rules.

The force is speaking with Blackburn with Darwen Council to look at taking action against the wedding organiser.

Earlier this month, the area had the second highest infection rate in the country at 688 cases per 100,000 people.

It has since dropped to 597, based on data between 6 and 12 November. The average cases per 100,000 in the country is 221.

In a post on Blackburn Police’s Facebook page, the force said officers had been “shocked to discover what was essentially a wedding function taking place”.

Guests had travelled to the party from London, Birmingham, Manchester and Inverness.

Sgt Dundon said: “The blatant disregard for the rules is a slap in the face to those of us who are doing our very best in this current situation.”

Seven people caught working out at a gym in Blackburn have also been fined and the gym owner has been reported to the local authority.

Sgt Dundon added: “We urge anyone who is tempted to engage in these kinds of activity to just think twice and consider the serious consequences if they were to catch or spread the virus to a vulnerable person. Would you really want that on your conscience?”

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