Illegal wedding party guests fined £200 each after trying to hide from furious police
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Guests at an illegal wedding party have been fined £200 each after furious police had to play 'hide-and-seek' to find them.
Friends and family had gathered at the furniture factory in the Mill Hill district of Blackburn, in Lancashire, on Monday.
Lancashire Police said they raided the wedding reception to find guests had travelled from as far as Inverness, Scotland, and London for the nuptials.
But when officers arrived they all tried to flee, forcing unimpressed police to track them down in the building like "a game of hide-and-seek".
Police said the party had lighting, glittery backdrops, a dancefloor and even a buffet for the 29 guests.
Earlier this month, Blackburn had the second highest infection rate in the country
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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 organiser of the wedding.
Earlier this month, Blackburn 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.
Guests had travelled to the wedding from across the country (stock image)
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
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In a post on Blackburn Police's Facebook page, the force said it was "shocked to discover what was essentially a wedding function taking place".
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.
"Consider the serious consequences if they catch or spread the virus to a vulnerable person? Would you really want that on your conscience?"
A spokesperson for Lancashire police told LancsLive : "We were called to reports of music and a large group in a furniture factory in Mill Hill. Officers have attended and were shocked to discover what was essentially a wedding function taking place within the factory.
"There was lighting, glittery backdrops, a dancefloor and even a buffet with approximately 25 “guests” present.
"The group have then tried to disperse around the factory and have effectively engaged in a game of hide and seek with our patrols.
"The group were eventually rounded up we issued 29 £200 fixed penalty tickets for breaching Coronavirus Regulations and are currently speaking with the local authority to look at taking action against the organiser of the wedding.
"Of most concern is that some these individuals had travelled from as far afield as London, Birmingham, Manchester and even Inverness!
"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."