Covid crackdown continues: Police raid drum ‘n’ bass rave in Bristol and fine 13 rule flouters £800 while officers in Soho bust a ‘PYJAMA party’ with 15 women inside
- Officers arrived at house on Tyndalls Park Road in Bristol at 2.30am on Saturday
- Footage shows a policeman shouting at the illegal revellers to turn off the music
- Came as officers in London disrupted a group of women gathering in pyjamas
This is the moment police disrupted an illegal drum ‘n’ bass rave in Bristol and handed out £10,400 worth of fines – while elsewhere officers caught 15 women at a Soho pyjama party.
Officers arrived at the house on Tyndalls Park Road in Bristol at 2.30am on Saturday to find more than 50 people inside.
Footage shows a policeman shouting at the revellers to turn off the music before announcing he was seizing the sound system and demanding everyone show him their IDs.
Several people fled but 13 were given £800 penalty notices – after the amount revellers attending illegal gatherings can be fined quadrupled as part of a new clampdown.
Officers arrived at the house on Tyndalls Park Road in Bristol at 2.30am on Saturday to find more than 50 people inside. This grab shows a woman shouting ‘police are here, everybody leave!’
In the footage, a reveller is heard shouting ‘police are here, everyone get out,’ as an officer enters the house.
The officer stops a man trying to flee, saying ‘you’re not going anywhere son’, before walking into the kitchen and shouting: ‘Turn the music off, let’s have the lights on, now’.
Six of the revellers also received formal warnings.
In total, Avon and Somerset Police issued 47 fines over the weekend at more than a dozen parties.
Fines for gatherings of 15 people or fewer still stand at £200, with the total doubling for each offence.
At one party, on Brighton Road in Bristol, several people jumped over the garden fence in a bid to escape and others hid inside the property.
Everyone was eventually caught and £200 fines were given to 10 people.
Meanwhile, in London, officers in Soho caught 15 women attending a ‘pyjama party’.
The Met tweeted: ‘On Friday night officers from the West end team were called to a pyjama party on Bateman St, Soho.
’15 females were reported for the consideration of a £200 fine after calls to the area due to the noise. The excuse of ”I thought 15 people were ok” is not good enough.’
Footage shows a policeman shouting at the revellers to turn off the music before announcing he was seizing the sound system and demanding everyone show him their IDs
In a second incident, 24 men were caught at a cannabis cafe in east London and put forward for £200 fines.
As police raided the shop, several of the men began jumping out of windows and onto the roofs of neighbouring buildings.
Officers gave chase and found a total of 24 men hiding in a void between the buildings.
One of the men was also arrested in relation to immigration offences and taken into custody. He was passed to the Immigration Services.
What are the rules around gatherings?
Under current Covid laws, you must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
But Priti Patel said people attending illegal house parties will now face £800 fines as police tighten their clampdown on rule-breaking.
The Home Secretary announced the hefty penalty for anyone attending gatherings of 15 or more people as she lashed out at revellers for spreading Covid.
The fines will double for each repeat offence, up to a maximum of £6,400. Hosts of illegal parties are already liable for a £10,000 fine.
Chief Inspector Pete Shaw, Covid Lead for Tower Hamlets, said: ‘My officers risked their own lives to apprehend a group of people who appeared to have no care for themselves or for protecting the lives of others with this brazen breach of the current restrictions.’
Inspector Ruth Gawler of Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘Millions of people across the country are diligently following the rules and making huge sacrifices to limit the spread of coronavirus.
‘Yet there is clearly a selfish minority who seem to think the rules don’t apply to them and they can go about their lives as normal.’
The police clampdown on Covid rule-breakers intensified this weekend, with more than 70 revellers facing £800 fines after partying on a boat in West London and drivers to the Cotswolds being slapped with £200 penalties for travelling hundreds of miles because ‘it is very hard to go shopping in London’.
Officers across the country broke up at least five illegal parties in Hampshire, Wales and London at the weekend, including an illegal rave thrown at an Airbnb house in Portsmouth which saw 19 partygoers fined £15,200.
The Met dispersed a massive boat party at the back of Powergate Business Park industrial estate on the Grand Union Canal in Ealing at around 11pm on Saturday night, which could now see 72 people handed £800 fines and the event organiser a £10,000 ‘super-fine’.
Cotswolds Police questioned drivers in Lower Slaughter and Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire for conducting 300-mile round trips before handing them Covid tickets – and shaming them on Twitter.
The force tweeted: ‘Another Covid ticket handed out in Lower Slaughter. The drivers excuse for the 300 mile round trip was that it was very hard to go shopping in London. #£200DayOut’. Later the local police unit posted: ‘We thought it was supposed to be lockdown? Apparently not in Bourton?! Two Covid tickets handed out to tourists from London and multiple warnings given’.
In Scotland, Glaswegians who needed rescuing after risking their lives by scaling Ben Nevis in dark and wintry conditions were fined £60 each for flouting Covid restrictions by driving around 100 miles to Fort William.
And in Wales, officers from North Wales Police’s Conwy and Denbigh Rural unit fined two groups of people who travelled to North Wales from England to go sledging and to ‘capture drone footage’.
On Bateman Street in Soho, London, officers in Soho caught 15 women attending a ‘pyjama party’
The Cotswolds bust came after a group of men were fined by police after travelling to the beauty spot from South Wales over the weekend.
Wildlife crime officer Nick Westmacott said the vehicle was stopped in Bourton-on-the-Water High Street at 11pm.
The officer wrote the vehicle had previously been involved in hare coursing on the A40 at Norleach on Sunday, January 24, and a police national computer marker was placed on the vehicle.
‘Gloucestershire Police Special, in an ANPR equipped vehicle, stop searched the four male occupants for hare coursing evidence,’ he said.
‘Nothing was found, but as they had all travelled from South Wales without a reasonable excuse they were all issued £200 Covid tickets.
‘We have informed Gwent Police who may also want to issue them with Covid tickets for travelling out of Wales without reasonable excuse.’
Police and fire attend an illegal house party at an Airbnb this weekend where revellers were fined £15,200. One partygoer had to be rescued from a rooftop while trying to escape the police raid
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