Police issue £10k fine after 45-person London office party

11 December 2020, 09:50 | Updated: 11 December 2020, 10:01

Police told LBC the London office party was attended by over 45 people, with “alcohol, a DJ and decks”.
Police told LBC the London office party was attended by over 45 people, with “alcohol, a DJ and decks”. Picture: City of London Police

By Joe Cook

City of London police say they have issued a £10,000 fine for a 45-person office party, as the capital faces warnings it could be placed into Tier 3.

The force told LBC the party, in a London office, was attended by over 45 people, with “alcohol, a DJ and decks”.

Police said the £10,000 fine handed out last week was the second they have issued, following a fine for a wedding reception at the end of October.

City of London police wrote: “Please don't put yourself and others at risk of catching COVID19: stick to the rules and socially distance, even in the festive season.”

The force is responsible for the Square Mile in London, which includes the capital’s financial district. They have not released which office was handed the fine.

Read more: London 'has highest Covid rate in England' as capital edges closer to Tier 3

Organisers of gatherings of over 30 people can be handed £10,000 fines for breaching coronavirus regulations.

Currently, London is in Tier 2 restrictions, which bans all indoor socialising with people from another household.

However, new ONS figures show the capital now has the highest coronavirus rate in England, with 191.8 cases per 100,000 people for the week of 30 November to 6 December.

Some public health experts are calling for London to be placed in Tier 3, which would force all hospitality venues to close.

Read more: London must enter Tier 3 ‘in next 48 hours’ or risk ‘terrible situation’

On Thursday, Matt Hancock told a press conference: "I'm particularly concerned about the number of cases in London, Kent and Essex. Cases are rising and in many areas are already high."

The health secretary announced an immediate testing programme would begin for 11 to 18-year-olds, where cases are rising fastest.

"We need to take targeted action immediately," he said. "Having spoken to the leaders of London's councils and the mayor, we've decided to put in place an immediate plan for testing all secondary school aged children in the seven worst affected boroughs of London, in parts of Essex that border London and parts of Kent."

"We want to keep schools open because that is both right for education and for public health.

"We are therefore surging mobile testing units and will be working with schools and local authorities to encourage these children and their families to get tested over the coming days."

National Medical Director of NHS England Professor Stephen Powis added: “In London, we are seeing a worrying rise in infections."We are seeing pressure in the NHS, particularly in the east of the city, but we are not at the levels we saw in April."

He added: "So it is really important that we don’t see further rises in infection rates in London and we don’t see pressure rising on the NHS. But the Nightingales will be there as that insurance policy if we need them.”

Watch: London 'going in wrong direction', warns Independent SAGE member

Read more: Rita Ora should have been isolating when she threw London lockdown party

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Nickie Aiken told LBC earlier on Thursday that London residents have to "do their bit" and stick to Covid rules to prevent the capital from moving up a Tier.

Ms Aiken said: "I think it's really important to send a message to everybody listening today that we have all got a part to play in this.

"Nobody is immune. We have got to do our bit. Londoners have got to do their bit. They've got to wear their masks. They've got to keep socially distanced and be sensible when they go out.

"Otherwise, we are going to go into Tier 3, we are going to have the threat of a further lockdown which would be devastating for all of us."

Read more: Economy grew by 0.4% in Oct but still 7.9% below pre-Covid levels

Read more: Second firebreak lockdown in Wales not ruled out amid warnings of Christmas 'catastrophe'

Ahead of the weekend, Mayor Sadiq Khan told Londoners: “The best way to support the NHS is to stay safe, the best way to support our businesses is to stay safe.

“It is in nobody’s interest for us to go into Tier 3 so please carry on making the sacrifices you have... It is really important we support London by staying safe and following the rules” he told Sky News.

Last weekend the capital saw scenes of chaos, with police forced to intervene after hundreds of young people gathered outside luxury store Harrods, ignoring social distancing rules.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify