Coronavirus protest warning after eight arrests made in one week

Four people were arrested at Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich following a protest of more than 50 peop

Four people were arrested at Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich following a protest of more than 50 people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Eight people have been arrested for flouting coronavirus rules in less than a week following protests in Norwich.

They include four people who were arrested for breaching coronavirus regulations at a protest with more than 50 people in Chapelfield Gardens on Saturday (November, 7).

Three of them, a 43-year-old man from Norwich, a 38-year-old woman from Great Yarmouth and a 55-year-old man from London, were all charged with being involving in the organising and facilitation of an event.

A further person, a 60-year-old man from Lowestoft, was reported for the offence of holding or being involved in a gathering.

All were released on bail and will appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, a protest which saw a 17-year-old activist camp out on a 100ft crane for two days on Duke Street also resulted in arrests.

On Saturday, just hours after the teenager had ascended the crane, three people were arrested in connection with the incident.

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The protester was charged with criminal damage, obstructing a police officer and a public order offence.

He appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and was released on bail to appear at Norwich Youth Court on Thursday, November 26.

Norfolk police has warned protestors to follow Covid-19 regulations and avoid gatherings or face a fine.

There are no exemptions for protestors during the second national lockdown.

Assistant chief constable Nick Davison said: “While recognising people normally have the qualified right to peaceful protest and that this is an important part of our democracy, these are unprecedented times in which we all have to follow rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We’re several months into this health crisis; people know what is expected of them and that gatherings carry a high risk of transmitting the virus. If people don’t follow the rules, we risk prolonging these restrictions.

“Such events can often result in significant responses from the emergency services, which ultimately diverts our resources from other demands. This really isn’t helpful during a public health crisis.

“I would urge people to reconsider taking part in protests and think about the impact their behaviour will have on our local communities, who are working together to slow the spread of infection.”

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