Takeaway fined £1,000 for serving food 4 minutes after 10pm curfew

3 October 2020, 15:26 | Updated: 3 October 2020, 18:02

Police officers seen in London, just after the 10pm curfew
Police officers seen in London, just after the 10pm curfew. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

A London takeaway owner has been fined £1,000 for serving a single customer food just four minutes after the 10pm curfew. 

Police inspected receipts and found the customer was served when the clock struck 10 - but received his food at 10.04pm. 

They then handed the hefty fixed penalty notice to Bim's Burgers on Ilford Lane, Redbridge, on 1 October. 

Under Boris Johnson’s coronavirus rules all hospitality venues must shut at exactly 10pm, unlike in Wales where pubs have been afforded 20 minutes flexibility. Deliveries are allowed to continue for later. 

In a tweet, since deleted, the Redbridge branch of the Metropolitan Police wrote: “Bims Burger (sic), Ilford Lane breached Covid-19 restrictions by having one customer inside the premises waiting for his takeaway meal.

"On looking at his receipt he was served 10pm on the dot, and staff were not handing him his food until 10.04pm. 

“The supervisor on shift was issued a business £1,000 FPN [fixed penalty notice] on behalf of the owner.”

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Twitter users were quick to condemn the force, branding the move “disgusting” and likening officers to Nazi secret police the Gestapo. 

Andy Robertson replied: “Hope your proud of yourselves? If only you’d been so fastidious in clearing up burglary cases."

The Met Police tweet, since deleted
The Met Police tweet, since deleted. Picture: Twitter

User Alan Fraser added: “There are occasions when my dedication to defending policing takes a knock, this is such a time, so I will sit back and allow nature take its course.”

Another wrote: “This is ludicrously over the top,” while a fourth said: “Lost for words. Pathetic and embarrassing.”

Bim's Burgers said in a statement it was "shocked" to receive the fine.

"New rules regarding Covid-19 are being made thick and fast and sometimes it isn’t clear exactly how they should be interpreted,” the restaurant said.

The statement went on: "This was a very minor mistake, but it was made in good faith. Under the circumstances we think it would have been reasonable for us to receive a verbal warning as opposed to a £1,000 fine."