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First £10k penalties issued for illegal parties

The first fines have been issued in England under tough new measures designed to deter would-be organisers of illegal raves.

The British home secretary, Priti Patel, announced last week that anyone who organises an illegal rave, unlicensed music event or any other “unlawful” gathering of more than 30 people could be liable for a fine of £10,000.

In London, the Metropolitan Police says it broke up 21 unlicensed music events (‘UMEs’) on Saturday 29 August alone.

One raid, in Dace Road, Hackney, saw officers take “details of four individuals, who have been reported for consideration under the new legislation”, says the Met’s Commander Bas Javid. “Enquiries into this event are ongoing.”

A number of arrests were also made at an anti-lockdown protest in central London, with protester Piers Corbyn – brother of former Labour party leader Jeremy – notably hit with the maximum penalty of £10,000.

A total of 11 £10,000 fines were handed out last weekend

“One individual has been reported under the new legislation, and a fixed penalty notice [will] be issued for £10,000 for the offence of holding a gathering of more than 30 people in an outdoor public place,” adds Javid.

According to Sky News, a total of 11 £10,000 fines were handed out last weekend.

They include penalties issued to the organisers of an illegal rave in Banwen, south Wales, which was attended by 3,000 people, and a number of parties in West Yorkshire.

Another (licensed) music event in Leeds was shut down for not adhering to government guidelines on social distancing.

Also hosting UMEs over the weekend were Norfolk’s Thetford Forest, when an unlawful rave was attended by over 500 people, and Harlow, Essex, where authorities seized “thousands of pounds” worth of sound equipment just prior to the event’s start.


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