The man admitted playing dominoes
Image credit: Mick Haupt

There are many vices in this world that invite unsmiling people in dark uniforms to break down doors and tow you away in handcuffs, which is why those who indulge in illegal activities have the good sense to do it in small darkened rooms, much like the miscreants in this BBC news headline today:

Coronavirus: Twelve fined for playing dominoes in Tier 4 breach

Yes, you are reading this correctly. The rest of the short article follows:

Twelve people have been fined after they were caught playing dominoes in a restaurant in east London.

Police officers found the group hiding in a dark room when they entered the building in Whitechapel on Tuesday.

The owner initially claimed those inside were workers, before admitting they were playing the game.

Tower Hamlets Council has been asked to consider issuing a fine to the owner of the restaurant for breaching tier four Covid-19 restrictions, the Met said.

A video released by the Met shows the restaurant owner saying: "They're playing dominoes."

Ch Insp Pete Shaw said: "The rules under tier four are in place to keep all of us safe, and they do not exempt people from gathering to play games together in basements.

"The fact that these people hid from officers clearly shows they knew they were breaching the rules and have now been fined for their actions."

This may possibly be the first time in history where such an innocuous game has had to go underground. I am sure we can all extend our warmest gratitude to Chief Inspector Pete Shaw and his brave team for exposing the ugly underbelly of east London domino vice rings.