The force is begging people to follow the rules this coming holiday weekend – and has recruited key workers and celebrities to spread the word.
Officers were called to 1,132 incidents in the region on Wednesday March 25 and Tuesday April 7 – including 494 house parties; 166 street parties; 122 “group meetings for sports activities”; 173 gatherings in the parks; and 112 cases of antisocial behavior.
Police said some house parties had bouncy castles, DJs and fireworks.
the Manchester Evening News was inundated with photos of people playing soccer in large groups, sunbathing in parks and organizing mass rallies.
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Strict government advice means people are not allowed to leave the house – unless they exercise alone or with those with whom they live; the purchase of essential items; or go to work if their work cannot be done at home.
Greater Manchester police said the public continued to respect the lockout measures. But in recent days, police have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of offenses reported to the police.
Police chief Ian Hopkins has said he does not want to take tough action against those who break the rules, but that fines and arrests will be applied in the most serious cases.
In an effort to get the public to respect the holiday lockout, GMP will be releasing a collection of videos from well-known figures, front-line workers and community members.
The first of the videos features key workers, including police, a nurse and a teacher.
They are joined by sports stars such as Marcus Rashford and Michael Carrick from Manchester United, Steph Houghton from Manchester City and boxer Anthony Crolla.
Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder, Dan Brocklebank of Coronation Street, and Kyle Ross of Fuzzy Sun will also participate in the campaign.
Normally, Easter weekend would see a hive of activity, especially in places of worship, beauty spots and downtown areas – as well as large gatherings of families and friends.
As the UK continues to follow government directives in response to the coronavirus pandemic, churches will be closed – including for private prayer.
People will not be able to participate in social gatherings with those who are not part of their own homes.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said, “We understand the desire that people will have to spend time with family and friends during Easter time; however, it is essential that we follow government directives.
“We must do this to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS by preventing the spread of this highly contagious infection.
“I am extremely grateful to everyone who provided their own home videos to support the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign because, as the Prime Minister has pointed out, the most important action we can take to fight coronavirus is to stay with us to save lives.
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“I encourage everyone to have fun at home with their loved ones, but don’t socialize beyond the people you live with.
“Please do not participate in other indoor or outdoor social gatherings, regardless of their size.
“We are trying to engage, explain and encourage everyone to follow government directives.
“However, when people do not follow the guidelines, we will use the legislative powers.
“We hope that such actions will not be necessary and the public will work with us during this difficult period.
“GMPs and other emergency services are doing everything we can to play our part to protect you and your loved ones, but we have to get through this together, as a community.
“So we ask you to do your part too and follow the instructions of the government.
“We would like to thank the vast majority who continue to comply with these measures, but each of us must take this seriously.
“Finally, I would like to wish you a happy Easter and urge you all to take care of yourself this weekend. “