Kent Police will have additional officers on patrol this bank holiday weekend to disrupt and prevent any unlawful gatherings taking place.
With Covid-19 still posing a serious threat to public health, officers will continue to engage with anyone caught breaking the rules to explain why they are necessary and encourage them to take responsibility for helping to contain the virus.
Legislation introduced today (Friday 28 August 2020) also now means that anyone who organises or facilitates a gathering of 30 people or more that is in breach of the coronavirus regulations risks receiving a £10,000 fine. Members of the public who attend also risk a £100 fine, which can double for each incident up to a total of £3,200.
Kent Police officers have broken up or prevented a number of illegal gatherings over the last two months, including at Darenth Country Park on Saturday 22 August when music equipment was seized and 20 people were told to leave the area prior to the start of an unlicensed music event that was expected to attract many more visitors. A dispersal order was also put in place to prevent anyone from returning to the area.
Assistant Chief Constable Nicola Faulconbridge said: ‘While the vast majority of people in Kent are continuing to adhere to the existing lockdown restrictions, it is very disappointing that some are continuing to take unnecessary risks by organising and attending mass gatherings.
‘Covid-19 has not gone away and continues to pose a serious risk to public health, not only for those who attend such gatherings but for everyone else they come into contact with after the event has finished. This may include elderly members of their own family, or other friends and relatives who may also be vulnerable to becoming seriously ill.
‘Extra patrols will be on hand at key locations across the county this bank holiday weekend to ensure we are able to respond quickly to any reported mass gatherings, and we encourage anyone who believes an event is being organised in their local area to report it to us as soon as possible.’