One arrested and dozens fined as Met Police break up gathering of 100+ people

15 January 2021, 22:04

A man was arrested at a gathering of over 100 people in Haringey
A man was arrested at a gathering of over 100 people in Haringey. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Police have handed out 42 fines to over 100 people who gathered to mourn the loss of a member of the traveller community.

Officers were called to the scene in Haringey, north London on Thursday after members of the public reported concerns about the number of people at a gathering.

Some were drinking and became aggressive towards the police when told they were breaching coronavirus regulations and needed to disperse.

Read more: Fines 'increasingly likely' for Covid rule breakers, Met Police Commissioner warns

One person was also arrested on suspicion of an unrelated theft.

Acting Chief Inspector Steve Connolly said: “Covid-19 legislation does not allow for gatherings of this type to take place.

"Although 30 people are allowed to attend a funeral, related gatherings such as these fall outside of what it legally permitted.

“Although we know that the community has suffered a loss, we also know that large meetings of people from different households are behind the rapid spread of the virus through London.

Read more: Police officer assaulted while shutting down 150-person illegal party

"We would urge people to stick to the rules in order to keep everyone safe. There are other ways to stay in contact with family and loved ones that don't involve meeting face to face."

The met said it has a policing plan in place in conjunction with the local authority to prevent any similar incidents in the area.

A dispersal zone has also been authorised in part of the borough and residents are "likely to see an increased police presence" throughout Friday evening and over the weekend.

Read more: Police chief furious after officer who was spat at now 'suffering' with Covid-19

Ch. Insp. Connolly added: “The virus is out of control across London and it is paramount that we continue to work together by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

It comes as Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned that fines for Covid rule breaches will be handed out far more quickly than before as the forces seeks to curb illegal gatherings during the height of the pandemic.