Blackpool house parties and other weekend lockdown breaches cost rule-breakers more than £50,000 in fines
Lancashire's lockdown rule breakers were hit with more than £50,000 in fines at the weekend, with tickets worth £37,000 handed out at house parties in Blackpool.
Enforcement of lockdown restrictions are still in place, warns the force, as it urges people 'not to become complacent' as rules begin to ease from today (Monday, March 29).
The warning comes after a busy weekend in which officers handed out 117 Covid tickets across Lancashire, including at least £37,000 in fines at three house parties in Blackpool.
More than 60 others were also fined £200 each for breaching restrictions in other areas of Lancashire.
But the majority of fines were issued in Blackpool where police patrols hit the resort's streets on Friday and Saturday evening to crack down on house parties and large outdoor gatherings.
In a 24 hour period, officers visited at least three homes were crowds of between 15 to 30-plus were found partying indoors.
The first bust happened on Friday evening (March 26), when officers raided a 21st birthday party in Newlands Avenue, off Preston New Road.
Lancashire Police did not provide exact numbers, but said "over 30 people" had gathered to celebrate the milestone birthday at the home.
It said "all participants were issued with fixed penalty notices at a cost of £800 each". The stiff £800 penalty applies to all those caught at gatherings where more than 15 people are present.
This means at least £24,000 in fines were handed out to those at the party. The force did not say whether the organiser has been fined £10,000 for hosting the party, as per the guidance.
But if this is the case, it means the 21st birthday party in Newlands Avenue would have cost a staggering £35,000 in fines.
On Saturday (March 27), a further two house parties were raided by the resort's Special Inspector Sonya Boden and her team of part-time voluntary constables.
She said her team of six specials visited two homes whilst on their evening patrol, with 16 people found inside one of the houses.
All but one of the party goers were aged over 18, and were hit with £800 fines - a total of £12,000.
Again, the Specials Inspector did not say whether the organiser had also been fined the customary £10,000 for facilitating the party and no address has been provided.
If the party host has also been fined, it would take the total cost of the lockdown party to £22,000 in fixed penalty notices.
No details have been provided about the second house party, but Lancashire Police and the Blackpool Inspectors have been approached for details.