Revellers at illegal house party slapped with fines totalling nearly £15,000
A group of 18 people have been fined nearly £15,000 for having an illegal house party “in a clear and flagrant breach of the current restrictions,” Essex Police has said.
On arriving at the house, a vacant rented property, in Sewardstonebury, early on Saturday evening, officers were initially refused entry by those inside who claimed to be making a music video.
When they did gain entry they found revellers “clearly having a party” while others were still arriving.
The force said in a statement: “Officers quickly contained the party, prevented any others from attending, and fined all of those present before sending them on their way.”
All 18 people present – including 17 people from London and 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.
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.”
Police had been called to the address on two previous occasions due to unlawful gatherings – one on New Year’s Eve and one earlier this month and an investigation is under way to see whether all three were organised by the same person.