Police in Derbyshire, England, say they were “shocked” after breaking up a karaoke party with at least 25 people, adults and children, present, in spite of the country’s stay-at-home orders to stem the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, Yahoo News U.K. reports.
The U.K., like many other countries, is enforcing a strict lockdown, only allowing residents to go outside of their homes for short periods of time, and only for absolute necessities such as food and medicine, or for work for essential employees. Of course, those rules haven’t prevented some scofflaws from flouting them, as police in Normanton, Derby, found out Saturday night.
In a tweet, Derbyshire police say they were called to an address in the Derby suburbs at about 10 p.m. Inside, they found a karaoke party in full swing, complete with a table laid out with a buffet of snacks and drinks.
Group 1 Officers have just attended an address in absolute shock to find 25 adults and children having a massive party with speakers and karaoke. Everyone dispersed and hosts dealt with.
It is clear people are still having complete disregard for the Government advice and rules. pic.twitter.com/g3GFGhFN6e
— Derby West Response (@DerWestResponse) March 29, 2020
As can be seen in the tweet above, officers gave everyone a stern talking-to but did not take any further action.
On Thursday, the U.K.’s government passed emergency legislation that allows police to issue a fine of £60 (about $74.71) on the spot, or even to make arrests, for violating the country’s lockdown laws.
When it comes to teenagers, police say they’re stymied. Authorities say that they’ve attempted to break up groups of two or more teens, only to have the teens refuse, and end up in the back of a squad car for it.
“We’ve got to take them home, but when we take them home, why can’t we fine their parents? Otherwise, what’s the deterrent?” asked Ken Marsh, the head of the Metropolitan Police Federation. He suggested that the parents of these teens should themselves be fined for allowing the children to roam freely during the pandemic.
Absent real enforcement powers, police in some British jurisdictions are turning to a much older tool to enforce good behavior: public shaming.
Derbyshire police, for example, recently released drone footage of scofflaws checking out a natural area when they should have been at home.
Despite posts yesterday highlighting issues of people still visiting the #PeakDistrict despite government guidance, the message is still not getting through. @DerPolDroneUnit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and this footage was captured at #CurbarEdge last night. pic.twitter.com/soxWvMl0ls
— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) March 26, 2020
However, some authorities in Britain aren’t on board with the idea of using public shame as a way of upholding the law. For example, former justice secretary David Gauke called the release of the drone footage “badly misguided.”