Police find huge wedding party of up to 70 people at a pub hours after it should have closed


Police discovered a huge wedding party of up to 70 people at a pub which was still ongoing two hours after the venue should have closed under coronavirus regulations.

Officers from West Midlands Police raided The Greyhound pub in Erdington, Birmingham, at just gone midnight on September 26. 

Body cam footage shows the moment officers found a huge spread of food, a DJ’s set-up, an estimated 65-70 guests milling around and drinks still being served.

The guests were quickly sent home and the discovery led to a £1,000 fine for the pub’s owner, who had breached regulations stating that venues must close at 10pm.

It came just a few hours after officers from the same force raided a 200-strong funeral party at the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel in Solihull, less than four miles away.    

A wedding cake was part of a spread of food inside

Police discovered a huge wedding party of up to 70 people at a pub which was still ongoing two hours after the venue should have closed under coronavirus regulations. Pictured right: A wedding cake was part of a spread of food inside

Police had received nine calls complaining about the mass gathering and loud music on September 25.

Footage of the wedding party discovery was posted on to the Twitter account of West Midlands Police. 

The video shows officers putting masks on before they go inside the pub and find a party set-up complete with disco lights. 

Inside, they find staff behind the bar, guests milling around and swathes of food – including a wedding cake – on tables. 

The police revealed they had been called to the ‘lock-in’ by a concerned member of the public.  

They added that they ‘dispersed’ the guests, who ‘left without issue’, and said that this was the first time the pub’s owners had been in trouble with police. 

Officers from West Midlands Police raided The Greyhound pub in Erdington, Birmingham, at just gone midnight on September 26

Officers from West Midlands Police raided The Greyhound pub in Erdington, Birmingham, at just gone midnight on September 26

A huge spread of food was found inside the pub, along with dozens of guests. The venue should have closed at 10pm under new coronavirus regulations

A huge spread of food was found inside the pub, along with dozens of guests. The venue should have closed at 10pm under new coronavirus regulations

The police revealed they had been called to the 'lock-in' by a concerned member of the public

The police revealed they had been called to the ‘lock-in’ by a concerned member of the public

It came just a few hours after the discovery of a funeral party in Solihull.  

Footage shows officers walking through a packed marquee before entering the reception area of the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel and demanding to speak to the manager, who was off-site.     

The police force later said it was the first maximum fine they had issued since the new rules were implemented. 

The venue has also been banned from holding events until January next year. 

During the clip, officers make their way to the hotel reception and are told by members of staff that the licence holder is not on site.

One officer then tells staff: ‘Is he aware you’re just going to lose your licence as a business? With the numbers I don’t know whether he’s not listening or he doesn’t care or he’s not getting it.

‘Ultimately we’re not coming round and shouting at everyone, because it’s an issue that I need to have a chat with the business about, more than yourselves.’       

It came just a few hours after officers from the same force raided a 200-strong funeral party at the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel in Solihull, less than four miles away

It came just a few hours after officers from the same force raided a 200-strong funeral party at the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel in Solihull, less than four miles away 

Footage shows officers walking through a packed marquee before entering the reception area of the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel and demanding to speak to the manager, who was off-site

 Footage shows officers walking through a packed marquee before entering the reception area of the Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel and demanding to speak to the manager, who was off-site

The gathering was the latest in a number of events at the Solihull hotel which breached legislation, according to the force.

The manager had been previously warned about these breaches but events continued to be held with no measures in place for track and trace, social distancing or table service

On Monday, West Midlands Police filed an application for an immediate licensing review with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

The force asked for an immediate suspension of the hotel owner’s personal licence pending a full review. 

This was granted by the licensing panel and a full hearing is due to take place later this month.

Police body-cam footage shows guests eating and drinking inside a packed marquee

Police body-cam footage shows guests eating and drinking inside a packed marquee 

Police officers entered the reception area and demanded to speak to the hotel manager who was off-site

Police officers entered the reception area and demanded to speak to the hotel manager who was off-site

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Bell, who is leading the force’s response to coronavirus, said: ‘We are living in difficult times and we understand people want to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed however we must all play our part to follow the rules which are in place to help stop the spread of the virus and to keep everybody safe.

‘We engaged with all those at the funeral gathering and explained why they needed to leave which they duly did.

‘It is the hotel manager who has been penalised for repeatedly organising events that breach the Covid-19 legislation; his actions have blatantly disregarded measures to keep people safe in a pandemic.

‘Businesses have a responsibility not only to their customers and their staff but to the wider community and there must be consequences when COVID-19 guidance is simply ignored.’ 

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