Armed police close gym near Liverpool after owner refused to shut doors
The gym's owner was hit with a £1,000 fine.
A gym in the Wirral, close to Liverpool, was this week shut down by armed police after refusing to close its doors to the public.
Liverpool and the wider Merseyside area is currently under strict lockdown measures, and gyms are not permitted to be open.
Bodytech Fitness is owned by Nick Whitcombe, a competitive bodybuilder who won the 2012 Junior Mr. Britain title.
In a video posted to the gym's social media channels, Whitcombe documented the moment armed police turned up to the gym to close it down. He was then subsequently hit with a fine.
Whitcombe says armed officers arrived at his gym after an anonymous tip off from a member of the public.
After filming the seven or eight armed police officers that turned up to the gym, gym owner Whitcombe explained the situation.
"We have just received our first £1,000 fine at Body Tech," he said.
"After meeting with the police yesterday, they told us we would get a warning first day, then a second warning, £100 fine, £200 fine and so on.
"They were with us this morning, gave us our warning. Then came back this afternoon, orders from their top boss to issue a fine straight away."
Whitcombe then explained that the severity of the fines would increase the longer his gym stayed open.
"They've issued the fine. First one's £1,000. They can come back in three hours and issue a £2,000 fine."
Members of the community have rallied around gyms in the Merseyside area.
Hot Water Comedy Club, which has played host to some of the funniest people in the North West of England and beyond, said they were looking to raise money for the independent gyms that have been forced to close.
INDEPENDENT GYMS pic.twitter.com/Fhnbd04Ynn
— Hot Water Comedy (@HWCCLiverpool) October 14, 2020
The comedy club, which is still permitted to be open under Tier 3 lockdown legislation, branded the decision to close all gyms as "disgraceful".
Bodytech owner Nick Whitcomb has posted a fundraising link in his Instagram bio for people wishing to donate.