Police fine 12 people caught red-handed in illegal game of Dominoes in Tier 4

Police fined 12 people who broke Tier 4 restrictions to play Dominoes in a restaurant.

They hid in a dark room when officers arrived at the diner in Whitechapel, east London.

The restaurant owner tried to stall officers and stop them from entering, claiming the only people inside were workers.

But they went inside on Tuesday 29 December and found 12 people trying to conceal themselves.

Scotland Yard said the group appeared to have gathered to play games.

All 12 attendees were issued fixed penalty notices for breaching the Tier 4 rules, which are designed to stop coronavirus from spreading.

Body cam footage shows the group emerging into the main part of the restaurant after police arrived.

Chief Inspector Pete Shaw said: “The rules under Tier 4 are in place to keep all of us safe, and they do not exempt people from gathering to play games together in basements.

"The fact that these people hid from officers clearly shows they knew they were breaching the rules and have now been fined for their actions.”

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Tower Hamlets Council has been advised about considering whether the restaurant owner should be fined.

The breach came two days after police fined 20 revellers for attending a party in a restaurant basement in Belsize Park, north London.

Officers raided the venue after reports of multiple people entering it.

They found ten men and ten women in the basement and issued fixed penalty notices to all 20 partygoers.

Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve saw more than 200 people in the capital fined for defying Covid-19 restrictions.

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The Metropolitan Police raided 58 parties and issued 217 people with fixed penalty fines.

Five people were reported for consideration of a £10,000 fine for organising large gatherings.

Four others were arrested for breaching the regulations after gathering in central London.

Police can issue fixed penalty notices of £200 for the first offence of breaching the restrictions, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

Anyone who holds or is involved in holding an illegal gathering of more than 30 people can be slapped with £10,000 fines.

The UK’s death toll from Covid reached 74,570 on Saturday after a further 445 deaths were recorded.

Figures also showed a further 57,725 new cases had been detected over the course of 24 hours – the highest recorded number in a single day since the pandemic began.

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