A comedy club found itself being descended on by the police after a stream of a show’s re-run was mistaken for a live one.
Of course, when the police arrived, they found a dark and locked establishment.
The CCTV footage at Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool showed a couple of officers arriving about 9:30 pm on March 28. They banged on the door and rang the bell but naturally, no one was there as the staff was all safe at home.
The comedy club said that someone who saw the stream reported it to the police which, if it was indeed a live show, would have gone against the UK’s lockdown order. The police showed up to ensure that social distancing measures were being followed.
Sharing the clip, Hot Water Comedy Club wrote: “Tonight we streamed a show we filmed back on 7th March.
“Someone thought it was live and grassed us up to the police, who sent 12 officers a van and a car to shut us down… (fair play to the police responding so fast).”
Because of the lockdown, the comedy club had been streaming reruns of past shows.
A spokesperson from Merseyside Police said: “Our officers responded to a report from a member of the public concerned that a comedy club was open and live streaming a show with a large number of customers inside yesterday, Saturday, 28 March.
“To verify this, they attended the club and found it closed. Checks were made around the building to make sure no-one was inside.
“It is normal to send several units to licensed premises if it is anticipated that there will be lots of people present, but on this occasion, it turned out to be a false alarm made in good faith by a member of the public. We had numerous patrols in the area as part of our policing plan and we will keep visibly patrolling our communities so the public and businesses know we are here for them.
“Police officers are key workers with a critical role in protecting the public during the coronavirus situation, and whilst they do practice social distancing wherever possible, their role in responding to calls for service from the public means it is not always possible.
“We consistently reinforce to everyone who works for us the importance of understanding the government’s public health advice and encourage them to follow it where the situation allows, and educate their colleagues and the public they engage with as well.”
If anything, the police response shows how serious they are about enforcing the lockdown.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons early last week that police can levy unlimited fines to anyone who ignored social distancing rules.
He said: “These measures are not advice, they are rules and will be enforced, including by the police with fines starting at £30 up to unlimited fines for non-compliance.
“Home is now the front line, and in this national effort, working together, we can defeat this disease. Everyone has a part to play.”
A couple of police departments have put up special hotlines and online portals so that people can easily report violations of the lockdown.