AVON and Somerset Police have handed out 45 fines in the past month after attending 460 Covid-19 regulation breaches.

The overall number of breaches recorded has hit a staggering 33,525 with 423 fixed penalty notices issued since the start of the pandemic.

Among the offenders are The Racehorse pub in Taunton, where the landlord was fined £1,000 for holding a 'lock-in' after 10pm, and house parties at the weekend in Weston-super-Mare and West Huntspill, where £200 fines were imposed.

Other fines were £1,000 for a man in Thornbury who failed to isolate after being notified by Test and Trace.

And the owner of Bristol events venue the Jack of Diamonds had a £10,000 fine slapped on him and was closed down for operating past the 10pm curfew for the second time in less than a week.

Enquiries are also ongoing into a rave attended by up to 700 people in Yate on Saturday night. Eight people have so far been arrested in connection with the incident and officers continue to review evidence before determining what action to take.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said: “It’s truly shameful the level of disregard some people continue to show not just for themselves or the law but for other members of society.

“Officers gave multiple warnings to the Jack of Diamonds and issued the owner with a £1,000 fine which is certainly not an insignificant amount of money, yet this clearly had no impact whatsoever.

“The owner continued to run his establishment as a nightclub, providing alcohol to large crowds of people until the early hours of the morning in the most blatant show of contempt for the public health crisis and the health of his community that we have seen.

“Not only was he hosting an event on Thursday, when officers went to hand him his fixed penalty notice on Friday they found him setting up for a Hallowe'en party.”

ACC Cullen added: “What is horrifying about these cases was the attitude shown towards officers who are just doing their job.

“Several officers responding to the rave were injured by revellers throwing missiles, including lit aerosol cans, while both the Racehorse pub in Taunton and the Jack of Diamonds in Bristol made efforts to obstruct police from gaining entry to their venues.

“These people know exactly what they are doing and it is not only wrong but dangerous on multiple levels.”

ACC Cullen said: “The vast majority of people have stuck to the rules and follow the guidance in place and we’re extremely grateful for this.

“However, as the weekend’s rave, breaches by pubs, house parties and people failing to self-isolate show, the message doesn’t appear to be getting through to everybody.

“The coronavirus legislation is in place to save lives and stop the spread of a virus which has claimed the lives of more than 46,000 people in the UK.

“We know we’re in for a difficult winter and the next few weeks and months are set to be particularly challenging if more restrictions are introduced as expected.

“We will continue to engage with the public as we have done throughout this crisis, explain the restrictions in place and encourage them to comply.

“But let me be clear, we won’t tolerate flagrant breaches of the regulations. We will move more swiftly to enforcement because we simply cannot allow the selfish actions of a few to jeopardise the determined efforts our communities have put in over the past seven months.

“The Government have given us an additional £680,000 to directly tackle the pandemic which we have used to set up a dedicated Covid-19 response team.

“This team will concentrate on dealing with reports of breaches coming in and proactively police areas where problems have previously occurred.

“We are fortunate the number of Covid-19 cases in the South West are not as high as some other parts of the UK, but they are rising and we cannot afford to be complacent.”