Heat-sensitive cameras help police bust 200-person house party in U.K.

Police in the U.K. are turning to the skies to put a stop to illegal house parties during the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Greater Manchester Police were notified of a house party containing about 200 people in the Gordon area on Aug. 15, they sent a police helicopter equipped with heat-sensitive cameras over the home.

The thermal imaging camera captured a bird’s eye view of the party, showing crowds of people gathered in what appears to be the backyard of a home and indoors.

A screengrab image of a video captured by Greater Manchester Police showing an illegal 200-person house party in Gordon.
A screengrab image of a video captured by Greater Manchester Police showing an illegal 200-person house party in Gordon. (GM Police/YouTube)

In a statement, police said officers who arrived on the ground were “pelted with missiles” while trying to break it up.

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Police eventually dispersed the crowd and issued a fixed penalty notice to the homeowner — effectively barring access to the residence by anyone except the owner(s) and/or tenant(s).

“This incident was completely unacceptable and incomprehensible,” said Insp. Jim Adams of the GMP’s City of Manchester district in a statement.

“I understand that this is a frustrating time — many of us want to see our loved ones, but we need to continue complying. Enforcement is a last resort for GMP but today’s closure order is a warning that officers will take action if/when necessary.”

Read more: Britain rolls out new mask rules as Europe copes with coronavirus uptick

Britain recently extended lockdown restrictions on regions in the northwest, including Greater Manchester, saying there was no evidence that the COVID-19 infection rate had fallen in the area.

Officials even declared a “major incident” in Manchester at the beginning of August to help tackle the rising number of cases.

In Birmingham, police opted for the same tactic to break up an illegal rave in the city centre one day later, on Aug. 16.

West Midlands Police officers caught more than 200 people “crammed into a communal area with sound systems” at a block party, as reported by BBC.

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Restrictions tighten again in U.K., N.Z. as COVID-19 infections soar

Restrictions tighten again in U.K., N.Z. as COVID-19 infections soar

The police force used a thermal imaging drone camera to capture the illegal party.

It was one of 80 gatherings the force had to deal with over the same weekend, according to BBC.

For Birmingham, the parties come as the rate of coronavirus infections has more than doubled in one week, rising from 13.8 per 100,000 people to 28.1, with 321 new cases.

As of Aug. 21, Britain has recorded 324,206 COVID-19 cases and 41,489 deaths.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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