Partygoers Tell Police They Were Unaware of Pandemic As They 'Never Watch the News'

Guests at a house party in England told police they were "unaware of the global pandemic" because they never watched the news when officers arrived to shut down the gathering.

The U.K., which has recorded more than 80,000 deaths, is battling a second COVID-19 wave after cases and hospital admissions soared amid a new variant that emerged in southeast England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged the country into a strict national lockdown at the beginning of January, banning Brits from leaving their homes for non-essential reasons.

Hampshire Police were called to a house in the town of Basingstoke over the weekend after several neighbors reported that the occupants were throwing a party.

When officers arrived to shut down the gathering, guests told them they were unaware of the restrictions because they never watch the news.

In a tweet, the force said: "Officers attended address in Basingstoke following several reports of a party at an address, and breaching lockdown guidelines.

Officers attended address in Basingstoke following several reports of a party at an address, and breaching lockdown guidelines. The occupants were spoken to and claimed to be unaware of the global pandemic, as they never watch the news! #ThereAreNoWords #PoliceControlRoom

— Hampshire Police (@HantsPolice) January 16, 2021

"The occupants were spoken to and claimed to be unaware of the global pandemic, as they never watch the news! #ThereAreNoWords #PoliceControlRoom."

Newsweek has contacted Hampshire Police for more information.

It comes as U.K. law enforcement officials launched a crackdown on lockdown flouters as the National Health Service becomes increasingly overwhelmed by hospital admissions.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it issued 100 fines to people breaking the restrictions between 3 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. on Sunday.

A party held in a flat in Salford in Manchester was broken up by officers after attendees shared photos on social media.

The force responded to the party, where at least 40 attendees had gathered, as well as two other illegal events in Cheetham Hill and Bolton.

Chief Inspector Carol Martin, of GMP's COVID response team, said: "It is incredibly frustrating to those abiding by the rules that some people are showing such a blatant disregard for the current regulations. Not only are they putting their own lives and those of their loves ones at stake, they also risk undoing the hard work of everyone else continuing to make the necessary sacrifices at this time."

Meanwhile, in London, nearly 50 people were reported for breaching COVID regulations after officers shut down a car meet in Romford, where around 50 vehicles had gathered.

East Area BCU Commander Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said: "It is unacceptable that people are still breaking the rules at a time when there is so much pressure on the NHS. It is more important than ever before that people follow the regulations.

"The restrictions are clear enough and there is no excuse for this sort of selfish behavior that puts lives at risk and causes a nuisance for nearby residents who are doing the right thing by staying at home."

Across the city in Southwark, officers also responded to calls that around 20 people were partying on a rooftop on Saturday night.

The force tweeted: "Yesterday evening we attended reports of an illegal rave & Covid breaches at Page Walk, SE1.

"2 arrests made - 1 for possession of offensive weapon & 1 for Class A drug supply. 5 x Covid fixed penalty notices were also issued and the event broken up."