February 25, 2021

'Incredibly selfish' people attending parties during COVID lockdown

January 23, 2021

Police have criticised party-goers for making "incredibly selfish" decisions during the coronavirus lockdown.

Superintendent Michael Walsh, of the Met's Central West Basic Command Unit, was speaking after a series of late-night parties in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

On Sunday, 17 January police found more than 200 people at an illegal gathering in Knightsbridge.

When told to go home, the attendees became hostile and pushed past officers in an attempt to avoid being fined, police said.

Two officers were injured, around 30 fixed penalty notices were issued, and a three-month closure order is being prepared for the establishment, which had already been fined for a previous breach of COVID legislation.

On Saturday, 16 January more than 30 people were found socialising in a venue in Ladbroke Grove, west London, police said.

The venue's owner is being considered for a fixed penalty notice amounting to £10,000 and those who attended were told to go home.

Last month, an illegal gathering at a commercial property in Knightsbridge resulted in the venue being closed for three months, following previous breaches of COVID legislation.

Superintendent Michael Walsh, of the Met's Central West Basic Command Unit, said the incidents showed "flagrant breaches of COVID legislation and could potentially have put multiple people at risk of contracting or spreading the virus".

He added: "Attending or organising such parties during this critical period is an incredibly selfish decision to make and we will continue to take action against those who flout the rules.

"My officers continue to work incredibly hard to uphold COVID legislation in order to keep people safe. While the majority of breaches have been resolved without incident, it deeply saddens me that some individuals have chosen to assault police officers who are simply doing their part in the collective battle against this deadly virus.

"We will absolutely not tolerate assaults on police officers. It goes without saying that anyone who harms an emergency worker will face the full force of the law."

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