A BAR has been handed a £100 fine after after reports of a party amid the coronavirus rules in Bolton – as police call in more officers to cope with enforcement.

Officers were sent to The Bar on Nelson Square on Friday night after receiving reports of a party taking place at the premises.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said “advice was given” and the bar was shut for the night.

The force has since confirmed that a £100 fixed penalty notice was handed to the bar and a referral was made to the environment services and licensing at Bolton Council.

The incident happened when Bolton was under the Greater Manchester coronavirus restrictions.

But those measures have since been made stricter due to the borough having the highest covid-19 infection rate in the country.

Bars, pubs and restaurants can only operate as a takeaway service as part of the new rules.

Superintendent Rick Jackson of Bolton police said: “Obviously the infection rate has been increasing.

“We are drafting in resources in support of the concentrated activity seven days a week and that will continue until we see a reduction in the infection rate.

“It’s been really important that we are supporting public health and encouraging compliance where necessary.

“We are not leading on enforcement, we are part of it with other bodies such as the council.

“We do not want to go down the route of being too strict.

"We are following the four Es; engage, explain, encourage and enforce, if necessary.

“Businesses and members of the public want to support us as it is in their interest not to be in the restrictions."

But Supt Jackson said "where people are just flagrantly disregarding" the covid-19 rules, action will be taken.

Officers may not be as visible as they crack down on people flouting the rules in a softer approach that often proves effective.

Supt Jackson also said police are seeing people breaching the travel quarantine rules, including a 23-year-old man who was fined £1,000 after returning from Ibiza and holding a party.

And GMP’s Bolton division is working with neighbouring officers in Bury and Wigan as well as councils in a bid to prevent people leaving the town to drink and dine out at pubs and restaurants in those boroughs.

As well as responding to reports of coronavirus breaches police in Bolton have also seen a rise in general crime.

Supt Jackson added: "Crime in Bolton has gone up to higher than pre-covid levels and is putting a strain on us."