Shhh – pretend there’s no one here: Dozens of partygoers draw the curtains, turn off the music and switch off the disco ball light when police come to break up illegal gathering in north London
- Up to 30 people attended rave in Islington, north-east London, on Wednesday
- When police knocked, someone shouted ‘turn it off’ and tried to conceal activity
- After warnings were ignored, officers ‘forced entry’ into house at around 1.45am
- Man, 20, said to be organiser, and nine others reported for breaking Covid rules
Dozens of partygoers drew the curtains and turned off the music and disco ball lights when police came to break up an illegal gathering on Wednesday.
Up to 30 people attended the rave in Islington, north-east London, before officers were called at around 11pm, Scotland Yard said.
The force was alerted to ‘loads of people coming and going’ to the address on Paton Street, but when they knocked on the door someone inside shouted ‘turn it off’ and tried to conceal the activity, a spokesman said.
Cops estimated between 20 and 30 people were inside the house when they arrived.
Up to 30 people attended the rave on Paton Street (pictured) in Islington, north-east London, on Wednesday evening before officers were called at around 11pm, Scotland Yard said
A Metropolitan Police statement said: ‘Despite repeated knocking, there was no response at all and it was clear that those within were choosing to ignore them.
‘Faced with this lack of cooperation, and in order to deal with the incident, the officers obtained a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.’
After more warnings were ignored, officers ‘forced entry’ to the house at around 1.45am and found 10 people inside – six of whom did not live there.
A 20-year-old man, said to be the organiser, and nine others were reported for breaking Covid-19 regulations.
Police in Dudley Port, West Midlands, stumbled upon a workshop turned into an illegal bar that was mockingly named ‘The Covid Arms’ last Saturday
Bodycam footage shows officers walk into the bar at the back of a garage. They captioned the clip: ‘We found a garage had been turned into “The Covid Arms”‘
What are the rules around gatherings?
Under current Covid laws, you must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
People attending illegal house parties face £800 fines as police tighten their clampdown on rule-breaking.
The fines will double for each repeat offence, up to a maximum of £6,400. Hosts of illegal parties are already liable for a £10,000 fine.
Inspector Alex Hope-Rollinson said: ‘Frankly it is shocking to see people act with such indifference for the rules, willing to put the health of their community at risk.
‘I’m proud of the professional and intelligent way the attending officers used different areas of legislation to ensure that people who were flagrantly breaching the rules were given fixed penalty notices.
‘We will continue to work across the borough to keep residents safe, taking enforcement action where necessary.’
It comes after police stumbled upon a workshop turned into an illegal bar that was mockingly named ‘The Covid Arms’ last Saturday.
Footage captured officers looking around a garage workshop in Dudley Port, West Midlands, before discovering a hidden bar complete with a sign on the wall.
West Midlands Police said officers used their discretion to allow the dozen people in there to leave, but the owner was hit with a £1,000 fine.
The force also raided a packed night club with 150 attendees illegally set up near Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Dozens of partygoers fled across rooftops after officers forced their way into the site, which boasted a VIP area, DJ, and was spread across two floors.
It is thought that more than 50 people made their getaway as police arrived.
A further 70 attendees were issued with £200 fines and the DJ could now face a £10,000 penalty.
Thermal imaging from police drones captured revellers attempting to leave the venue in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the early hours of Valentine’s Day
They forced entry into the venue to find the bar before also being confronted with a VIP area (left), a dance room, recording studio (right) and a gym
On the same day, an illegal rave was busted in Merseyside wood with drugs, music speakers and a weapon all seized.
Around 20 brazen coronavirus rule breakers turned up to the secluded part with organisers using plastic sheeting for a makeshift venue and speakers at the scene.
Six of the ravers were hit with fixed penalty notices, thought to each be £200, for the blatant breach of Covid regulations after the extraordinary scenes at the weekend.
Met Police also raided a cannabis cafe in Tower Hamlets, London, on January 28 with over 24 people attempting to escape over the roof before fleeing into the path of officers. More than 30 fines were issued.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, an illegal rave was busted in Merseyside wood with drugs, music speakers and a weapon all seized. Class A drugs and a knife were also found
Six of the ravers were hit with fixed penalty notices, thought to each be £200, for the blatant breach of Covid regulations
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