Despite the government’s social distancing ruling to prevent the spread of coronavirus, police officers today found a group of 20 people ignoring the lockdown and tucking into a barbecue in Coventry.

Neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Foleshill Road, Coventry, just after 2pm on Tuesday (March 24) when they discovered a group of people hosting a barbecue near flats in Culworth Court. The group were in direct violation of the social distancing instruction which was delivered to the nation by Boris Johnson on Monday night.

The officers were shocked to find a group of around 20 people, including a toddler and people estimated to be in their 60s, freely mingling and standing shoulder-to-shoulder around a barbecue buffet.

The officers told the group it was unacceptable and they needed to adhere to social distancing guidelines to help slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Despite the warning the group refused and began protesting they should be allowed to continue their barbecue.

One woman shouted “my children need to eat” but could not explain why she wasn’t cooking for them at home in her kitchen.

In the end, the officers were compelled to end the gathering by tipping over the barbecue and insisting the group dispersed to their homes.

Police officers were forced to tip over the BBQ when the defiant group refused to leaveWMP
Police officers were forced to tip over the barbeue when the defiant group refused to leave

A West Midlands Police spokesperson, said:

“It’s vital everyone follows the new ‘lockdown’ instructions; they are essential and it will save lives.

“Our officers and PCSOs will be out and about in communities and speaking (from a distance of two metres) with anyone we suspect is breaching the new regulations.

“If people do not listen to our advice then we will move to enforcement – and our Chief Constable has vowed that we will target the most problematic behaviour.”

According to current report, a total of 42 people have died in the West Midlands in connection with COVID-19, making it a hotspot for the virus.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that the country would be entering a period of nationwide lockdown. As of Monday night, people can only leave their homes to shop for food and other essentials, to get one type of exercise a day, to go to work, for medical needs, and to give care or aid a vulnerable person.


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