£10,000 fine for Basildon restaurant owner
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Wedding party of 50 found celebrating at the restaurant.
A man has been fined £10,000 after allowing a wedding party to be held at his restaurant in Basildon.
We were called around 3.30pm on Tuesday 21 October with reports that a large number of people were at gathered at a restaurant on Cranes Farm Road.
Officers arrived to find that a wedding party was being held with approximately 50 people in attendance.
Working alongside our colleagues at Basildon Borough Council, the guests present were spoken to by our team who explained that the wedding was in breach of COVID-19 restrictions. All of those present were asked to comply by leaving the venue and it was made clear that those who refused or were obstructive would be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Each of the guests complied and left the venue.
The restaurant owner, a 41- year-old man from Basildon was reported for summons to court for holding a gathering of more than 15 people in breach of Coronavirus legislation, which carries a £10,000 fine.
The same man had previously been issued a prohibition notice by Basildon Council for breaching coronavirus legislation.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said:
"This wasn't the first time this business had breached coronavirus legislation
"Our colleagues at Basildon Council issued a prohibition notice after the restaurant was found to still be open after midnight at the end of September.
"Less than three weeks later, he allowed a wedding party with around 50 attendees to be held at his restaurant, when legislation clearly states that under the current restrictions across all Tiers, only 15 people are allowed to be present at a wedding.
"This behaviour is totally unacceptable and unfair on the community.
"We've all had to make sacrifices and there are lots of local businesses who have worked incredibly hard to adjust how they work and ensure they comply with the current legislation.
"We will continue responding to calls about blatant breaches, such as this and where there are clear breaches, we will continue to work with everyone involved to deal with them.
“I know this is a really challenging time but I would like to thank all those who continue to adhere to the current restrictions and guidance and take steps to protect yourself and other people.
"Your efforts do make a difference."
We want people to continue to report Covid breaches, but please check before you report something, to be sure as you can be that you aren't misreading a situation before contacting us.
You can make a report via our website by using our Digital 101 service, where you can make a report or speak to one of our operators online live time, between 7am and 11pm and report the breach to them.