WARNING: Reckless resident faces £10,000 fine for hosting large house party
Police in Nottinghamshire have shown just how prepared they are to use the full weight of the law in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus after issuing a £10,000 fixed penalty notice to a house party host.
A 19-year-old man has been issued with the hefty fine after he allowed more than 50 people to attend a party at his home on Harlaxton Drive, Lenton, yesterday (Friday) evening.
This comes just days before new rules come in force whereby only six people can meet at any one time.
Now officers are warning others thinking of hosting parties this weekend ahead of the changes to think again or face the consequences.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police said: “We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.
“This party was a clear example of a householder who deliberately flouted the rules without a care for anyone else and as a result we have used the full powers we have to deal with this.
“Under current rules we can issue fines to anyone hosting gatherings of more than 30 people which can result in fines of up to £10,000. And now we are on the eve of rules becoming even tighter so there can be gatherings of no more than six.
“I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this. As we have demonstrated here we are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.”
Neighbours reported the house party to Nottinghamshire Police at around 10.20pm yesterday evening (Friday 11 September).
Community Protection Officers from Nottingham City Council initially attended but were met with hostility from the organiser and so police were called to assist.
Officers found around 50 people in the address who were all ordered to leave. The occupant was later issued with the fine. If he fails to pay or contests this fine he will appear before a court.
The law recently changed to allow forces to impose bigger fines in response to increased reports of unlawful gatherings and unlicensed music events which are putting people’s lives in danger due to the current pandemic.
Amy English, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for City Central, added: “Residents have had fair warning that we won’t tolerate people flouting the laws and regulations around the Coronavirus restrictions must be adhered to by everyone.
“In this case the resident also had the chance to shut the party down when they were first visited by our council colleagues.
“Despite blatantly breaching the regulations, there’s no doubt in my mind that not everyone attending would have been social distancing which is irresponsible and puts everyone’s health at risk.
“Throughout this pandemic the vast majority of local people have followed the advice and engaged really well with us. We have used enforcement only as a last resort and that will continue.
“We must take these incidents seriously, it puts everyone’s health at risk and we will be working closely with the council and any other relevant organisation to tackle any issues that may arise.”
Councillor Rebecca Langton, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “The police’s action last night sends a clear message that breaking the rules, especially in the context of a global pandemic, will not be tolerated and each organisation in partnership will take whatever steps we can to keep our communities safe.”
Anyone identified as breaching Covid-19 regulations by organising or allowing their property to be used in this way will be subject to action being taken by Nottinghamshire Police. This could include fines of up to £10,000.