A Sheffield shisha bar has been raided by police and council officials following reports the venue was in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
Officers from Sheffield's City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team and Sheffield City Council executed a warrant at the premises on the Wicker over the weekend, discovering four people inside.
The four people were found in a flat above the shisha bar and were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for £200 each for breaching Covid-19 regulations by way of an unlawful gathering. Fifty shisha pipes were also seized.
Sheffield Council are continuing with enquiries against the proprietor of the business and breaching Covid -19 regulations.
Inspector Ali Bywater, from the City Centre NPT, said: "It is enormously disappointing that this venue had chosen to continue operating in blatant breach of the restrictions which are in place to keep all of us safe.
"This warrant follows concerns we received from members of the local community, who have been left incredibly frustrated by the irresponsible and selfish actions of those who continue to gather and potentially spread the virus.
"I'd like to thank all those who are continuing to adhere to the restrictions in place. People are making huge sacrifices to slow the spread so I can understand it is infuriating when others seem to think they can carry on with their lives as normal and put others at risk.
"We will continue to work with our colleagues at Sheffield Council and environmental health to respond to reports of breaches and there will be consequences for those who do not follow the rules."
Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, said: "We know that these are extremely difficult and frustrating times for businesses, and I want to thank the vast majority who are doing their utmost to be Covid-19-secure, but where establishments, such as this one, repeatedly ignore the rules and jeopardise both theirs and other people’s lives, we must take action.
“It is our duty to make sure that people and their businesses adhere to the current legislation and, as tonight’s enforcement proves, we will take action against those who don’t in order to protect the health and safety of our community.
“It is extremely disappointing that the Police have to spend valuable time dealing with those who act irresponsibly and with no regard for the wellbeing of others. Anybody not taking the current Covid-19 crisis seriously needs to examine their selfish and reckless behaviour. We sincerely appreciate the work of the Police in addressing the behaviour and also the public for raising the alarm on these matters. We ask that people continue to report issues to us so that we can work with businesses to comply with restrictions and advise them on the range of support that is available.”
This latest action follows a warrant executed at a neighbouring shisha bar on the Wicker last weekend, when more than a dozen FPNs were issued. The same venue had been reported to police in November last year, again resulting in multiple fines and seizures.
You can report breaches of COVID-19 regulations by calling 101 or online here: https://www.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/v7/tell-us-about-a-possible-breach-of-coronavirus-covid-19-measures/
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