More than 70 people facing fines after lockdown-breaching boat party

31 January 2021, 14:17 | Updated: 31 January 2021, 14:45

More than 70 people facing fines after lockdown-breaching boat party
More than 70 people facing fines after lockdown-breaching boat party. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

More than 70 people are facing fines after being found at a lockdown-breaching boat party in west London.

Police were called to North Acton on Saturday night following reports of the group breaking lockdown rules.

The Met Police force said the party had more than 70 people in attendance.

In a statement, police said the group was dispersed, with a total of 72 people possibly facing fines of £800. The organiser was identified and could face a fine of £10,000.

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Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Bowen said: "This was a blatant breach of the Coronavirus rules that are in place to save lives and protect the huge pressure on the NHS.

"All the people who attended this event, which appears to have been organised on social media, have quite rightly been reported for the consideration of fines.

"The Met will continue to shut down and disperse events such as this, which risk spreading a virus that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in this country."

On the same evening in Essex, a group were fined almost £15,000 pounds in total for having an illegal house party.

Essex Police said 18 "reckless revellers" were fined almost £15,000 after officers interrupted a house party on Saturday, while in Merseyside, police found about 200 people partying in a hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning and broke up a gathering of 20 people in a gym on Saturday night.

A spokesman for Essex Police said officers attended a house in Bury Road, Sewardstonebury, at about 5pm on Saturday after reports of a party and when they arrived were initially refused entry by people inside who claimed to be making a music video.

Eighteen people inside the property, 17 from London and one from Essex, were fined £800 each following the introduction of higher penalties, the force said.

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: "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 force said an investigation is under way to establish whether two previous unlawful gatherings at the vacant, rented property were organised by the same person.

Meanwhile, in Merseyside, police discovered around 200 people partying in a hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning and broke up a gathering of nearly 20 people in a gym on Saturday night.

The force, which has reported the business owner to the local authority, said those attending were not wearing PPE or social distancing and had travelled from areas including Billinge, Widnes, Wirral and Southport.

At 3.15am, officers found around 200 people at the Richmond Hotel in Liverpool city centre where four parties were going on, the force said.

A police spokesman said 13 fixed penalty notices were issued, 11 documented warnings were given and everyone who was not a legitimate guest at the hotel was removed.

One woman was arrested on suspicion of breaching coronavirus legislation and two counts of assaulting a constable and a man was arrested as he was wanted, the force said.

Chief Superintendent Matt Boyle said: "This sort of behaviour is unbelievable and unacceptable and officers should not be confronted with abuse and violence when attempting to uphold the law, which most people are rightly abiding by."