Police turned up heavy-handed to break up a comedy club night in Liverpool that was broadcasting a rerun online during the coronavirus lockdown.
Video published online by Hot Water Comedy Club shows officers storming up to the Hardman Street premises last night after 9.30pm.
They ring the doorbell and bang on the door of the venue after receiving a tip-off that Hot Water Comedy Club was hosting a live performance.
For the next 60 seconds, police flout social distancing measures imposed to protect the public which are enforced by officers around the country.
But it later emerged that Hot Water Comedy Club was not even open, and had been airing a rerun online that evening of a March 7 gig.
It means a member of the public came across the broadcast and reported the show to Merseyside Police, believing the venue was flouting the lockdown.
Hot Water Comedy Club published the embarrassing CCTV footage on social media
Hot Water Comedy Club, which normally hosts live comedy every night, published CCTV footage on Facebook and Twitter.
They said: ‘Tonight we streamed a show we filmed back on 7th March.
‘Someone thought it was live and grassed us up to the police, who sent 12 officers a van and a car to shut us down… (fair play to the police responding so fast)’.
Merseyside Police told MailOnline: ‘Our officers responded to a report from a member of the public concerned that a comedy club was open and live streaming a show with a large number of customers inside yesterday, Saturday, 28 March.
‘To verify this, they attended the club and found it closed. Checks were made around the building to make sure no-one was inside.
‘It is normal to send several units to a licensed premises if it is anticipated that there will be lots of people present, but on this occasion it turned out to be a false alarm made in good faith by a member of the public.’
A spokesperson continued: ‘Police officers are key workers with a critical role in protecting the public during the coronavirus situation, and whilst they do practice social distancing wherever possible, their role in responding to calls for service from the public, means it is not always possible.’
It comes as police chiefs started encouraging Britons to snitch on neighbours they suspect of breaching the coronavirus lockdown.
Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Avon and Somerset Police have created ‘hotlines’ and ‘online portals’ where people can submit tip-offs.
Video published online by Hot Water Comedy Club shows officers storming up to the Hardman Street premises last night after 9.30pm
They ring the doorbell and bang on the door of the venue after receiving a tip-off that Hot Water Comedy Club was hosting a live performance
But it later emerged that Hot Water Comedy Club was not open, and had been airing a rerun online that evening originally performed on March 7
If citizens believe neighbours are violating lockdown rules, they can fill out an online form to report supposed infractions to police.
They can provide officers with the address, date, and time of the alleged incident.
It follows a surge in the number of calls to the non-emergency 101 number since the PM imposed the most drastic curtailment of civil liberties in UK history.
Yesterday, 260 people who tested positive for the coronavirus died, bringing the total number of people dying with Covid-19 to 1,019.
In another day of coronavirus developments:
- China could ‘face a reckoning’ for its handling of the pandemic and risks becoming a ‘pariah state’ as a furious No 10 considers a ‘deep freeze’;
- Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating with the disease, has written to every household in Britain urging the public to obey the lockdown;
- Michael Gove said there is a ‘range of outcomes’ on when the lockdown will end, while senior health chiefs warn the lockdown could last until June;
- Over 1.6 million people could already been infected, while Prof Neil Ferguson of Imperial College says the number of deaths could be 5,700;
- Northern Ireland is imposing £5,000 fines for breaches, while the Met Police Federation says parents should be penalised if their children flout rules;
- Polls indicate that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is the PM’s preferred successor if Mr Johnson is left incapacitated by the illness;
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will launch a £5million scheme to support the nation’s mental health at a time of high anxiety.