Ex-councillor calls for action and prosecutions over lockdown rulebreakers in Sheffield

A former Sheffield councillor has written to council and police chiefs calling for action over lockdown rulebreakers.

John Hesketh, a former councillor for Crookes, has contacted the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council and the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police after a mass gathering on Bolehills earlier this week which saw large groups ignoring social distancing rules while DJs performed.

Video footage and photographs were shared online to highlight the breach of lockdown rules.

South Yorkshire Police responded to complaints and officers ‘dispersed’ around 100 people.

Large crowds gathered on Bolehills, Crookes, earlier this week

A police hunt is under way for the organiser, who faces a £10,000 fine.

But Mr Hesketh, from Crookes, is calling for more action, including prosecutions for ‘law breaking’.

He said: “Both organisations boast about ‘partnership’ working in their various PR blitzes – what about actually teaming up on this one. Behave like partners. Do something.”

Mr Hesketh said Wednesday’s gathering was not an isolated incident and the issue needs ‘regular attention’.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, who is also from Crookes, has praised South Yorkshire Police for their handling of the large gathering of young people on Wednesday.

“I urge the public of South Yorkshire to support the police at this difficult time,” he said.

“I was taken aback to see the size of the crowd that gathered. This was a flagrant breach of the laws intended to keep us safe from the spread of the coronavirus.

“It was all the more concerning because we are beginning to see the emergence of a third wave of the infection across continental Europe, a clear indication of just how easy it is to fall back in the fight against the disease.

“If we are to come out of the period of restrictions and lockdowns, it is all the more important that we observe the health rules of social distancing. Otherwise, all the gains made could be thrown away by a few thoughtless actions.

“I commend South Yorkshire Police for taking a measured and proportionate approach. I believe they are striking the right balance between encouraging people to observe social distancing and enforcement.

“But their task is not easy and needs all of us to give them support as they seek to keep us safe while maintaining that balance.”

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