Nearly £15,000 fines issued to partygoers breaking COVID regulations
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Eighteen reckless revellers caught having an illegal house party have been fined nearly £15,000 by Essex Police after we used new powers available to officers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations.
Our officers attended a house in Bury Road, Sewardstonebury at 5pm on Saturday 30 January, following reports a number of partygoers were at the property having a party in a clear and flagrant breach of the current restrictions which are designed to keep us all safe.
On arriving at the house, which is a vacant rented property, our officers were initially refused entry from those inside who claimed to be making a music video.
However, our officers gained entry and inside found 18 individuals clearly having a party while others were still arriving at the property.
Officers quickly contained the party, prevented any others from attending, and fined all of those present before sending them on their way.
An investigation led by our detectives is now underway to establish who organised the event. We are also working with our partners to put measures in place to prevent the future unlawful use of the property.
All 18 people present - including 17 people from London and just one from Essex – were fined £800 following the introduction of higher penalties last week for those caught attending illegal house parties of 15 people or more.
Following the incident Essex Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills, said: “This party was a clear and blatant breach of the current restrictions which were put in place to save lives and protect the NHS.
“These selfish individuals not only have no regard for their own safety, but they clearly didn’t give a second thought for the safety of the local community, the police officers who had to attend to deal with their reckless behaviour or the NHS who are under unbelievable pressure.
“The legislation exists for a reason, which is to stop the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives. It relies on us working together to drive down the risk of infection.
“The overwhelming majority of people continue to do all they can to support us and help stop the spread of the virus and it is only a selfish few, such as these individuals, who think they can flout the rules with no thought for the health risk posed by their actions.
“But, as the robust action we have taken in this instance demonstrates, Essex Police will simply not tolerate anyone in our county, or visiting our county, who blatantly and flagrantly break the law and put the lives of the people of Essex at risk.”
Previously Essex Police has attended two previous unlawful gatherings at the same property in Sewardstonebury (one on New Year’s Eve and one earlier this month) and an investigation is underway to establish whether all three were organised by the same person. We will work with partners to prevent any events taking place at the same venue in the future.
If you have any information about who organised this event, do the right thing and call our detectives at Loughton CID by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
We want people to continue to report COVID breaches. You can make reports via our website by using our Digital 101 service, where you can speak to one of our operators online live time, between 7am and 11pm https://www.essex.police.uk/
Alternatively you can make a report here: https://www.essex.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/