Nottinghamshire house party could land organiser with up to £10,000 in fines after law change

A man who organised an illegal house party in Nottinghamshire over the weekend could be facing up to £10,000 in fines.

By Sophie Wills
Monday, 7th September 2020, 3:09 pm

Nottinghamshire Police officers used new legislation following a change in the law.

Two weeks ago the law was 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.

Officers discovered up to 40 people were having a house party at a residence in The Meadows late on Saturday night.

Photo for illustrative purposes from Pixabay

Police quickly dispersed the gathering and warned the homeowner that he could now face fines of up to £10,000.

He has been reported for summons for the offence and was issued with a fixed penalty notice. Police said the amount of the fine will be decided in due course.

Now police have joined forces with council officers to letter drop the local area warning residents that an illegal gathering like this could see action from both organisations, including fines, potential tenancy action, breaches of the Licencing Act or civil action being pursued.

The Home Office increased powers to forces following an increase in the number of illegal gatherings.

While in the majority of cases, officers have been able to disperse these gatherings with no further action necessary, some have become violent leading to officers being assaulted.

In addition to the regulations on large gatherings being breached, officers have found that social distancing is not properly adhered to at many of these events, putting further people at risk during the ongoing pandemic.

The new fines are for those hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

Neighbourhood Inspector James Walker said: “These measures send a clear message – if people deliberately hold illegal gatherings like this and put everyone’s health at risk then action will follow.

“We work closely with the council and our partners in housing to tackle these issues and if you are identified as being responsible for organising or allowing your property to be used in conjunction with a party which results in ASB then we will look to take action.

"This could include fines of up to £10,000 for breaching Covid regulations, tenancy action, breaches of the Licencing Act or civil action being pursued.

“These events are hosted without regard for the safety of those attending. We strongly advise anyone considering such a party that you seriously consider the risks you’re creating for everyone in attendance and the wider community. There is a risk of prosecution for those who organise these events and equipment will be seized.”

Officers attended reports of the gathering at a property in Holgate Road, which was in breach of Covid-19 rules, at around 11.35pm on Saturday.

Insp Walker added: “The restrictions on large gatherings remain in place for a very good reason – to limit the spread of Coronavirus - and we can only do that by abiding by the rules.”

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