West Mercia Police criticised after officers pictured with huge wedding party in Telford despite Covid rules

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West Mercia Police has come under fire after officers were pictured with a party of Shropshire revellers amid ‘local lockdown’ warnings.

In a photo that can be seen online, uniformed West Mercia Police officers can be seen posing in the street with several members of a wedding party in Wellington last weekend, and a number of supercars.

Birmingham Live has reported that a party kicked off the celebrations in Telford before more than 200 people travelled by car to a Birmingham venue to continue the festivities.

Councillor Lee Carter, who represents the College ward which includes part of Wellington, said that West Mercia Police had questions to answer on how they responded to the complaints.

He said that it was “irresponsible” for the organisers to hold such a large gathering, but that the police response was flawed.

“It’s a matter for the police as to why they didn’t handle it in the way they should have done.

“I know there were a number of complaints in the Arleston area. We have complained to the police about their response.

“Clearly the public are quite right to raise these concerns.”

After the celebrations in Birmingham were broken up by West Midlands Police, the party then reportedly returned to Shropshire, with reports of noise and fireworks in Arleston into the evening.

In a statement to Birmingham Live, West Mercia Police’s chief superintendent Sue Thomas said the officers had been asked to pose in the photo, and that it was “disappointing” that they had not practised social distancing. She said the officers will be “spoken to”.

It follows news in both Telford and Birmingham of rising numbers of coronavirus cases and warnings about potential ‘local lockdowns’.

The infection rate in Telford & Wrekin was higher than the England average earlier this month, and the borough council reminded residents to keep following the rules.

West Mercia Police has been approached for comment.

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