Moment shisha bar busted flouting coronavirus rules with 250 people packed inside as owners shush hiding customers10/12/2020
A SHISHA lounge has been fined £10,000 after police body-cam footage captured hundreds of people crammed inside the venue.
Staff can be seen trying to close shutters on officers as they arrived while the nightspot also turned music off and told customers to be quiet in a bizarre bid to avoid detection.
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Once they had gained entry to the Kasablanca Shisha Lounge in Birmingham, officers found 250 people packed inside displaying "no regard to the current legislation".
A WPC can be heard in the footage telling the owner: "Shutting the shutters to turn the music off makes no difference, we've got it all on camera.
"Every person here should be wearing a mask. You are working behind here. You have a duty to ensure people in here are following the guidelines.
"People should not be in groups at the till. As soon as whoever controls the shutters have seen the police they've shut the shutters.
"I've then stood at that door and heard them turn the music down and tell everyone to be quiet. I can hear it through the door, I'm not stupid."
An investigation was launched and last Friday its owner was served the £10,000 fine for facilitating the event and for flouting Covid-19 restrictions.
Superintendent Rich Harris, of West Midlands Police, said officers have been busy “with people continuing to flout the rules”.
He said the force was following an engage, explain, encourage and enforce approach.
“However we will enforce these fines when it is obviously people are so blatantly ignoring the restrictions,” he said.
"Businesses have a responsibility not only to their customers and their staff but to the wider community and there must be consequences when Covid-19 guidance is simply ignored.
"Everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread of coronavirus, and no one is above the law when it comes to that.
"We understand that some of the regulations are confusing and we will be explaining where we find breaches, but if people continually flout these measures, we will not hesitate to take action."
Kasablanca Shisha Lounge was the second venue in the West Midlands to be hit with a hefty fine this weekend after police rumbled an illegal rave in Walsall.
The event was discovered by officers out on patrol in a unit at 12.30am on September 14.
They tried to enter to see what was happening as the shutters were slammed shut in their faces.
Shortly after a number of people attempted to leave but found the gates locked, some even tried to jump the fence in an effort to get away.
Officers pleaded to the person with the keys to open the gates, which eventually they did, and around 100 people left.
Music equipment and food and drinks were found inside the unit.
The owner was interviewed, and after falsely claiming the premises was broken into on the night in question, officers handed him the fine.
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