Public safety was put at risk after hundreds joined in with an anti-lockdown protest in Nottingham city centre during Tier 4 restrictions, said Nottinghamshire Police.
An estimated 300 people gathered at the war memorial at Victoria Embankment on 3rd January 2021 and continued to take the protest into Nottingham city centre.
Residents voiced their disagreement with the lockdown restrictions and rules during the protest. This included the lack of freedom and their scepticism over the effectiveness of masks.
Members of Nottinghamshire Police met the protesters at Old Market Square to attempt to ensure the wider public’s safet, but were met by large crowds. They issued 12 fines and arrested three people.
Audio: Kyomi Benjamin on the protest.
In the weeks after the protest, Covid cases rose in Nottingham by 27%. Only four weeks after the incident were rates of Covid-19 infections dropping across the city and parts of the county.
Public health bosses insisted it was “good news” to see infections across all age groups decreasing in the city although they said it was disappointing that there were such high numbers of cases recorded after the incident. They insisted in the future residents needed to take greater care.
The current R rate – the current growth rateof coronavirus – for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire is confirmed to have dropped to between 0.9 and 1.1, although it is still above the current estimated R rate in England which is between 0.8 and 1.0.