Two people were arrested and more than 50 issued with fixed penalty notices after officers visited a gym in Speke this evening (Sunday 7 February).
Police received reports that Prophecy Performance Centre on Gaskill Road in Speke had been operating as a gym in breach of current Covid restrictions.
Officers attended the gym at around 1pm and saw that it was operating, with multiple people gathered inside. Police also identified that the doors of the gym were locked and contacted Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) to investigate potential breaches of fire safety regulations.
It was further reported that customers at the gym had been stopped from leaving the premises to prevent them being detected by police.
A 24-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and are being questioned by police.
52 people were issued with fixed penalty notices. Following an inspection from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the premises was also found to be in breach of fire safety regulations as all of the fire doors were padlocked shut.
The gym was closed with immediate effect and a further fire safety inspection will take place tomorrow. Ten cars parked illegally outside the gym also received parking fines.
Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said, “The incident in Speke today shows that we won’t hesitate to work with our partners to take robust action against businesses on Merseyside who continue to flout Covid restrictions.
“By continuing to operate, the owners of this gym were putting themselves and their customers at risk of catching and spreading Covid at a time when we all need to work together and follow the rules to tackle this deadly virus.
“While we know that this pandemic has been really tough for businesses that have been forced to close, it is only by adhering to the rules that we will be able to put a stop to this pandemic and hopefully see a return to normality more quickly.
“Officers will continue to respond to potential COVID-19 legislation breaches across Merseyside to ensure Public Health and Government guidance is being adhered to, and is for the safety of all residents and business owners.”
If you have information on criminality, anti-social behaviour or events and gatherings planned illegally, you can contact @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.