Woman who booked holiday home for Covid lockdown party given £10k fine

1 July 2021, 14:22

Police attended the scene after reports of noise and a street fight from local residents.
Police attended the scene after reports of noise and a street fight from local residents. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

A woman has been fined £10,000 for organising a lockdown party in a holiday home near Maidstone.

Over 100 people attended the pre-planned party at the house, which was advertised online as a holiday rental property.

Kent Police were called to the disturbance at 4.25am on 30 May, after receiving reports of noise and a street fight in Plantation Lane, Bearsted.

Following an investigation, they discovered a 20-year-old woman from Milton Keynes was responsible for booking the house used for the party.

Thames Valley Police visited her property on 25 June, where she was issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid-19 regulations, having organised the gathering of over 30 people.

This comes after the Met police announced they would be cracking down on illegal raves when restrictions are lifted over summer too.

Read more: Met police to launch summer crackdown on illegal raves

Read more: Thousands gather in central London for outdoor rave amid weekend of protests

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Assistant Chief Constable Nicola Faulconbridge warned of the "serious risk the pandemic still poses", saying officers would "move quickly to enforcement" when similar situations occur.

"The majority of people in Kent have been making sacrifices to follow the government’s roadmap and keep everyone safe and it is encouraging to see that hospital admissions remain fairly low, as a result," she said.

"Amidst these good signs, however, we must all remain mindful that we are still in a pandemic and it remains against the law to organise and attend large indoor gatherings like house parties and unlicensed music events.

"In these situations, our officers will move quickly to enforcement and those found responsible will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

"It is understandable that with the recent easing of restrictions, warmer weather and international sporting events, people will want to start socialising again.

"However, we urge everyone to remember that regulations apply to large gatherings, to understand the serious risk the pandemic still poses and to avoid undermining everything we have collectively achieved so far.

"As we move towards the next key date in July, officers will continue to work alongside partner agencies to ensure compliance by remaining visible and accessible whilst policing the regulations in a sensible and proportionate way, but they will not hesitate to use their enforcement powers when necessary."