- Police urge people to stop breaking lockdown rules and endangering lives
- Two women were found fornicating in Dartmoor car park in -3C temperatures
- Ill-equipped hikers were rescued in blizzards on Northumberland National Park
- Met Police had to break up 17-strong party at rented house in KnightsbridgeAn amorous couple face being fined for breaking lockdown rules after they were caught 'fornicating under the stars' on Dartmoor on the coldest night of the year.
The two women were busted by a routine patrol in the early hours when the temperature was -3C near the village of Yelverton, Devon.
They had driven 10 miles from their homes in Plymouth and had parked up in a car park in West Dartmoor, a known dogging hotspot, when officers arrived just after midnight.The couple were warned to return to their separate homes, which they did, and were subsequently reported for breaking lockdown regulations and may now face a £200 fine each.
It prompted Tavistock Police to take to social media at 2.17am this morning to tweet warnings to anyone considering doing the same.
The force said: 'Fornicating under the stars, on the moors, may seem like this year's latest romcom, but it is not an essential journey and certainly breaks social distancing guidance.
'Please continue to abide by Covid-19 legislation to help prevent the spread of Covid.'
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police added: 'During a routine patrol, officers from the Tavistock Neighbourhood Team discovered two people in-breach of social distancing regulations, in a car at a remote location near Yelverton, West Dartmoor, late on Wednesday 10 February.
'The officers spoke to the individuals who were subsequently instructed to return to their respective home addresses; both were reported for breaching COVID-19 regulations.'
One said: 'From what I gather the couple caught in flagrante last night were two women who had driven the 25-minutes out of Plymouth to a remote car park near Yelverton. They aren't the only ones, a lot of couples do it.
'It's become somewhat of a hotspot in recent times and despite the lockdown, couples are still venturing out.
'The police regularly patrol car parks and other remote spots around Dartmoor because they know that more often than not doggers will be out breaking the rules.
'And that is what happened last night apparently, the officers wandered over to the car with the windows steamed up and caught the women at it. They were told in no uncertain terms to go home which they did straight away.'
At the other end of England, Northumbria Police and Mountain Rescue Teams have begged people 'don't put yourself and others at risk' after they rescued ill-equipped hiker in heavy snowfall.
Volunteers from the Northumberland National Park Mountain and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams have come across a number of people wearing trainers, tracksuit bottoms and lightweight jackets – despite blizzard-like conditions and sub-zero temperatures.
Wintry conditions across the hills of Northumberland are keeping temperatures at about -8C with a windchill down to as low as -19C at the weekend.
Mountain Rescue Team Leaders, Iain Nixon and Keith Briggs, said: 'In these conditions a simple trip and slip can lead to a serious life-threatening situation and anyone going onto the hills must be prepared for winter conditions and be dressed and equipped accordingly.
'This includes the ability to navigate in zero visibility, read avalanche terrain and be in possession of ice axe and crampons. We would ask – please don’t put yourself and others at risk.'
Meanwhile, a group of lockdown flouters are facing up to £13,000 in fines after police busted a drink and drugs-fuelled house party in one of London’s most exclusive areas.
A total of 17 partygoers were slapped with fixed penalty notices of £800 each while some tried to argue with police about why they should be allowed to socialise.
Cops were called to an address in leafy Knightsbridge, west London, on Saturday night after reports of a gathering and loud music.
Officers arrived to find a crowd of more than 20 people from different households boozing inside.
When they searched the property, which turned out to have been rented out for the party, they also found drugs.
One attendee confessed to travelling around 20 miles from Slough in Berkshire to be at the party despite rules banning people from non-essential travel.
Chief Superintendent Helen Harper, the Met’s Borough Commander, said: 'Those who have followed the Covid-19 rules from the outset of the pandemic are, I am sure, fed up of seeing and hearing about blatant breaches of the legislation such as this.
'Whilst explaining why attendees would be issued with fines, my officers were met with resistance from some who felt that they had every right to meet and socialise.
'I would like to reiterate the words of my officers: across the capital and the country, there are people whose quality of life will be detrimentally affected by the virus, and others who will not survive at all.'
A Met Police spokesman added: 'More than 20 people from different households were present at the private property. One person admitted to travelling from Slough to attend the party in a clear breach of lockdown rules.
'It was later discovered that the property had been rented out over the weekend specifically for the party. Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the rental agreement and identify the owner.
'Seventeen people at the address were reported for consideration of FPNs of up to £800 each.'
In Cheshire, rule breakers were so desperate to avoid being caught at an illegal party that they hid in cupboards in an attempt to evade capture by the police.
Raiding a house party on Saturday night at 8.30pm, the force found banners, balloons and an alcohol bar in full flow.
But when they got to the gathering some party-goers tried to hide in cupboards to evade the officers.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: 'While the majority of Cheshire residents are abiding to the rules, there are still a minority who are bending and blatantly breaching restrictions which are in place to save lives.
'Officers are risking their own health to protect Cheshire residents from this deadly virus. When they are met by blatant and repeat breaches they will enforce without delay.
'There are many more people in hospital with the virus during this lockdown than at any time during the pandemic.
'This is why it is so important that people continue to stick to the regulations, we will only get through this health emergency by us all doing the right thing'