The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester has praised local media for joining forces to combat flouting of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations in the city region.
Ian Hopkins said local press and broadcast media had been “brilliant” in their support to try and save lives.
The force had called on the media for support as they launched a pre-bank holiday campaign to combat a spate of parties and sports events across the region being staged despite the health warnings.
The measures came after the police revealed they had reports of hundreds of parties and events taking place in homes and in streets, some including bouncy castle, DJs and fireworks.
At least 359 people have died in Greater Manchester’s hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus.
“We asked local media to help us highlight this issue and they responded brilliantly,” Hopkins told the Society of Editors.
“The MEN (Manchester Evening News) has run full coverage and there has been support from TV and radio to get the message across. We don’t want to be heavy-handed, but we do need to get the message across to the public and I have been extremely grateful for the support of the media.”
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) created a map (see below) of where parties and other events were reported to have taken place which was picked up and used by print media. The map revealed a total of 1,132 incidents had been reported across Greater Manchester – including 494 house parties, 166 street parties, 122 group gatherings for sporting activities, 173 gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour or public disorder linked to the lockdown restrictions.
Famous faces from the world of sport and entertainment, including Coronation Street stars and footballers Marcus Rashford, Michael Carrick and Steph Houghton as well as boxer Anthony Crolla, featured alongside nurses and police officers in videos made available to the media and carried on websites as well as featuring on broadcast news bulletins.
Hopkins told the MEN: “We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period.
“However, it is vital that we follow the Government guidelines.”
Click here to watch the video.