Police in Telford broke up a gathering of 70 people in a park on Saturday who were flouting the coronavirus lockdown measures.
Revellers at the “rave” reportedly said they were “sick of social-distancing” as officers forced them to disperse.
Telford Police were called to Granville Country Park on the edge of the Shropshire town at about 8pm on Saturday night.
“We are attending a mass gathering/rave at the Granville park. I'm told 70 people here!” The force tweeted.
Just to clarify. We dont fine unless there is no other action open. We engage and explain. We asked the group to disperse and they did. We would ask anyone who is thinking of organizing one of these events to think of the bigger picture. Please refer to the government guidelines— Telford Cops (@TelfordCops) May 17, 2020
“We have worked so hard and sacrificed so much and this group decide it doesn't apply. I'm shocked that people would care so little. #hangYourHeadsInShame.”
Under new social-distancing guidelines introduced by the government last week, people in England are allowed to socialise with one other person from outside their household - but they must stay two metres away.
Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice
Police forces have the power to issue fines of up to issue fines starting at £100 for a first offence - reduced to £50 if paid promptly - and up to a maximum of £3,200 for multiple offenders.
But Telford Police said they had not fined any of the revellers present, urging them instead to “think of the bigger picture”.
“Just to clarify, we dont fine unless there is no other action open - we engage and explain,” they later tweeted.
“We asked the group to disperse and they did. We would ask anyone who is thinking of organizing one of these events to think of the bigger picture. Please refer to the government guidelines.”
On Sunday, NHS England announced 90 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 24,617.
A total of 13,445 fines have been issued up to Sunday for people breaching lockdown rules in England.
The highest number of offences happened in London, while outside the capital North Yorkshire saw the most lockdown breaches.
Warwickshire is the best behaved part of the country, according to the figures, with only 31 fines issued.