Police in Manchester wheeled out some military-grade technology to document a raid on a lockdown-breaching party. The cops then appealed to the public to snitch on similar “illegal large gatherings.”

Greater Manchester Police released a video on Tuesday showing a night-time raid on a house party in the suburban area of Gorton on Saturday. In the white-hot thermal vision usually seen in war-zone footage, a police helicopter or drone captured the officers moving in force to break up the gathering, with some pouring in over the back walls to scatter the partygoers.

The police said that more than 200 guests were present, and some pelted the officers with “missiles” before the party was stopped.

The tenant of the property was fined and slapped with a closure order – which prohibits them from having any house guests over to visit for three months.

Manchester is currently under strict lockdown, with residents banned from meeting people from different households indoors, and gyms and swimming pools are shut. Pubs and restaurants remain open, but mixed groups of households are not permitted to mingle there. The local lockdown was introduced by the government late last month, but the unclear rules triggered widespread anger and confusion.

Local Councillor Nigel Murphy described the party as a “particularly flagrant breach of Covid-19 restrictions,” and welcomed the cops’ “tough action.” Yet long before Manchester was placed under renewed lockdown, police forces across the UK and beyond were wheeling out their Call of Duty-style gadgets to shame the public into obeying quarantine measures.

From police in Australia recording the daring arrest of three rooftop drinkers in thermal vision, to British cops using drones to stalk dog walkers in national parks, to Singapore’s use of terrifying robot dogs to bark residents into compliance, the coronavirus pandemic has seen the deployment of some high-tech methods of corralling the populace.

Yet gathering human intelligence is still the go-to method for police, at least in Manchester. After releasing the video footage, Greater Manchester Police urged the public to turn in anyone hosting an “illegal large gathering” by plugging the address of the party into a handy online form.

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