Shocking footage has shown hundreds of people dancing at an illegal lockdown party with no social distancing, with police being pelted with missiles when they tried to break it up.
Officers arriving at the scene in Gorton, Manchester, on Saturday night were forced to call for back up after being met with violence.
Video shared to Snapchat shows a crowd of people dancing in a huge gazebo with no regard for coronavirus restrictions.
Strobe lighting pierces through the area and a DJ plays music in what looks like a professional set-up.
It does not show the moment police arrived, but Greater Manchester Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling confirmed officers were attacked.
“The last thing we need is large gatherings such as this, as well as unacceptable attacks on officers attending the scene,” he said on Sunday.
“Quite frankly, it is beyond comprehension and I am incredibly disappointed that people feel they can gather in this way – blatantly flouting the rules. I can honestly say that in 30 years of policing I have never seen anything quite as outrageous as this behaviour. It is appalling.’”
DCC Pilling condemned those involved for having “the bravado” to post Snapchat videos of the party and said the force is “reviewing the footage”.
Officers carried out door-to-door enquiries on Sunday morning and served a woman – who they say was an organiser – with a £100 fixed penalty fine.
An anti-social behaviour closure notice has also been slapped on the property. It prohibits anyone from outside the household entering.
Reporters from Manchester Evening News visited the residence on Sunday, where the gazebo was still standing.
The incident is all the more atrocious given Greater Manchester is currently seeing a spike in coronavirus cases and is one of the regions placed on local lockdown by the government.
There is a current ban on people from different households meeting indoors.
Superintendent Helen Caldbeck called the party a “blatant breach of covid legislation”.
"Even worse was the fact on attendance, our officers were met with such hostility, with missiles were thrown at them,” she said.
"We want to be clear that the issuing of an FPN, as well as imposing an anti-social behaviour closure notice, is just the first step in our action and we are working unreservedly to ensure that all possible lines of enquiry are followed up.
"We have officers reviewing CCTV and other evidence with a view to identifying others responsible.
"The people of Greater Manchester deserve better and quite frankly they’re being let down by the selfish few who are shamelessly breaching the very guidance and legislation that is there to protect us.”
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