Public urged to help illegal parties clamp down

Police and council officers shut down illegal party

Police and council officers on the way to shutting down an illegal party. - Credit: LBBD

The public has been called on to help crack down on illegal parties following a spike in cases.

The town hall's officers and police have shut down a number of the unlicensed music events (UME) in Barking and Dagenham in the past month including two attended by hundreds of people.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: A

Cllr Margaret Mullane said everyone needs to put a stop to illegal gatherings and protect lives. - Credit: LBBD

Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “Coronavirus is very much still here and our borough, unfortunately, has one of the higher infection rates in London. 

“These illegal gatherings should not be happening, and we all need to work together to put a stop to them and protect people’s lives. 

“I’m encouraging all residents to question family members, especially their children, on where they are going in the evenings and encourage them to stay home where possible and to report anything they hear to the police.” 

Details of illegal parties is often passed around via Whatsapp and social media in a bid to keep them undercover from the council and police.

People are encouraged to report anything they hear to police online

Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman vowed to clamp down on illegal parties. - Credit: PA

Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman, who heads up East Area borough command, said: “We’re going to clamp down and we have the assets to close them down - which is what we do. 

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“I’m not a killjoy but we’re just trying to keep this pandemic under control and save people’s lives. It’s as simple as that. 

“People should know by now that if you mix with hundreds of people in a UME you’re going to put yourself and others at risk.” 

The pledge comes after almost 40 people breached Covid-19 restrictions by attending a wedding in Creek Road, Barking on December 5. 

Officers spoke to the bride and groom who said only 15 guests were invited but other people kept turning up with gifts and then stayed. 

Under current Tier 2 Covid-19 rules, wedding ceremonies and sit-down receptions are only allowed to have 15 guests. 

As a result of the breach, 37 people were reported for consideration of a fixed penalty notice. The organiser is also facing a possible £10,000 fine under Coronavirus regulations.