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Confusion over lockdown guidelines is being used by some as an “excuse” to break the rules in England, a police chief has said.

Andy Rhodes, the chief constable of Lancashire Constabulary, said there was a “world of difference” between people acting sensibly and others who were “flagrantly” ignoring the rules.

“What we’re looking at here is being proportionate, so if we think that people have thought about it and they are confused, we turn up and deal with the situation,” he told BBC Breakfast on Saturday.

“The vast majority of times across the country the police are just giving advice out and asking people to do things differently.

“(But) we’ve had people who have clearly, flagrantly, ignored the rules and had a wedding for 200 people.

“There’s no one anywhere who could misinterpret the current rules to say that 200 people in your back garden or in your house or in an area is going to be OK.

“There’s a world of difference between good people who are doing their best to enjoy themselves and they’re a bit confused, and people that are clearly just ignoring the normal rules that the rest of us are trying to abide by.

“Being confused is becoming a bit of an excuse for some people at the moment.”

His remarks came as the home secretary, Priti Patel, promised a crackdown on illegal raves in the UK, with fines of up to 10,000 for organisers.

Rhodes said that changing restrictions would “inevitably” lead to confusion, but rule-breakers risked taking away some “freedoms” that have begun to return. He urged people to be sensible and “get the best” out of alternative social activities.

“Given it’s the bank holiday weekend, what we’re saying to people is be sensible, respect the work that some of the people have put into trying to arrange events sensibly, if they’re online, et cetera,” he said.


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