Teenager arrested and 38 fines issued over Bristol lockdown rave plans

10 January 2021, 17:46

Police shut down plans for an illegal rave (stock image)
Police shut down plans for an illegal rave (stock image). Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Police arrested a teenager and issued 38 fines over plans to hold an illegal rave in Bristol, as constabularies continue to crack down on lockdown rule-breakers.

Avon and Somerset Police said officers prevented the "Bristol Freerave" event from going ahead on Saturday after receiving intelligence it would be held at Oldbury Court in the Fishponds area of the city.

Officers issued 38 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid-19 regulations after a "significant" number of people arrived in the area by car and on foot, the force said.

A 19-year-old man was arrested shortly after 7pm on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, while police also gave "advice" to around 30 minors at the scene.

A further arrest was made in connection with a drink driving offence and a vehicle was seized for having no insurance.

It comes as police forces across England urged people to stay home and avoid travelling amid concerns that pressure on the NHS from coronavirus could get worse in the coming weeks.

Home Secretary Priti Patel defended the way police have handed out fines for lockdown breaches so far, warning that officers "will not hesitate" to take action.

She said: "The vast majority of the public have supported this huge national effort and followed the rules.

"But the tragic number of new cases and deaths this week shows there is still a need for strong enforcement where people are clearly breaking these rules to ensure we safeguard our country's recovery from this deadly virus."

Police tactics have come in for scrutiny after Derbyshire Police handed out £200 fines to two women who drove separately to go for a walk at a remote beauty spot situated around five miles from their homes.

The force has since said it would review all fixed penalty notices issued during the national lockdown after it received clarification about the coronavirus regulations from the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Elsewhere, the Metropolitan Police said it had fined the owners of a north-east London gym for breaching lockdown rules by remaining open.

Officers were called to the fitness centre on Stean Street in Hackney on Friday to reports of a breach of regulations.

The gym was open and three people were found inside, resulting in the owners being issued a £1,000 fine, the Met said.

It came as London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" in the capital as the spread of coronavirus threatens to "overwhelm" its hospitals.

City Hall said Covid-19 cases in London had exceeded 1,000 per 100,000, while there are 35% more people in hospital with the virus than in the peak of the pandemic in April.

North Wales Police said its officers had dealt with people breaching coronavirus rules at Moel Famau in Flintshire.

The force's rural crime team account tweeted on Saturday: "Another day wasted dealing with Covid rule breakers.

"So frustrating that we have to deal with these people who simply don't care whilst the vast majority of us do the right thing and stay at home.

"We are seeing people from England and various areas of Wales...so selfish."