Two men from West Yorkshire have been issued with £10,000 fines after they were found to have organised a mass snowball fight involving hundreds of people.
The men had helped to arrange the event, which resulted in hundreds of people turning up to Woodhouse Moor in Leeds for a snowball fight, lasting two hours.
The event took place on 14 January 2021, after large parts of the UK were hit by large snowfall.
Attendees were seen coming into close contact with one another, which police said created a “significant and completely unnecessary risk of increasing the spread of the virus”.
Two men, aged 20 and 23, were taken into custody by West Yorkshire police on Wednesday (27 Jan) and after being interviewed were found to have breached Covid legislation.
They were ordered to pay fines of £10,000 each, as per Covid laws which were set up to crackdown on anyone organising gatherings of up to 30 people.
One of the men had already previously been fined for breaching Covid rules.
‘Completely unnecessary risk’
Chief Superintendent Damien Miller, Leeds District Commander, said: "We take absolutely no pleasure in handing out such heavy fines to these two young men but their actions encouraged hundreds of people to be in close proximity to each other, creating a significant and completely unnecessary risk of increasing the spread of the virus.
"It was a blatant breach of the legislation that is in place to help keep people safe at what remains a critical time for us all. The event attracted understandable media attention and widespread public condemnation of all those who irresponsibly took part.
"That said, it remains clear that the vast majority of people recognise the need for collective responsibility and are continuing to stick with the regulations that are there to protect our families and our communities.
"We will continue our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance but we won't hesitate to enforce the law where people blatantly disregard the rules and put others at risk."