A huge car meet up in Basingstoke on Saturday has been busted by police with more than 45 people facing fines.

But shamelessly, some of the 100 vehicles involved fled the scene before officers could speak to them.

According to Basingstoke police, more than 100 vehicles gathered at Rankine Road on Saturday - despite current coronavirus restrictions which forbid such meet ups. As a result, the organiser could be fined up to £10,000 for organising the event.

A car meet is often an enjoyable event where large groups of enthusiasts come together to show off their cars, discussing the history of the vehicles and advice on projects. Many have become regularly scheduled events, such is their popularity.

However, some car meets can become associated with illegal activities, with anti-social behaviour such as street racing being frowned upon by police, who can seize vehicles in some instances. Furthermore, during lockdown, they haven’t been able to take place due to rules on social gatherings.

Police from across Hampshire previously fined 26 people who organised a car meet at Blacknest Industrial Estate in Alton on January 23, "for blatant breaches of the regulations.”

In the latest incident, officers were called at around 9pm on Saturday, 27 March, to reports of a car-meet taking place, with a number of cars thought to have travelled from the Thames Valley area.

On attendance, around one hundred vehicles were seen, with large groups of people gathered in contravention of the lockdown rules in place at the time. At the time, members of the public were only allowed to meet one person outside their household for exercise. This has since been relaxed to six, or two households.

On seeing police arrive, many fled the scene, with officers beginning to take the details of those left behind. As a result, forty-five people were spoken to and were reported for summons in relation to a fixed penalty notice.

Under current lockdown rules, gatherings of over six (or two households) and 15 are an offence, carrying a penalty of £200, or £100 if paid within 14 days. This doubles for each further offence to a maximum of £6,400. For gatherings of over 15 people, penalties of £800 are in place, again doubling each time until £6,400.

Those organising gatherings of more than 30 can be fined up to £10,000.