Police catch 70 people breaching Covid rules
- Credit: Met Police
More than 70 people in Tower Hamlets and Hackney have been reported for consideration of Fixed Penalty Notices after two days of police action.
The fines could total £15,800.
The shock figure comes after a 48-hour blitz carried out by the Met’s East Central command operating with the two local authorities on February 11 and 12.
Reports included breaches of Covid emergency legislation such as illegal parties and gatherings, some taking part in empty buildings, and closing non-essential businesses operating illegally.
Arrests were made for offences such as public order, drug-related issues, immigration and even possessing a gun.
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But officers also set up a "Covid-secure surgery" open to the public with advice around hate crimes. And they ran a two-hour online question and answer session for school staff, parents and pupils.
“Policing is not just about law enforcement,” Chief Insp Pete Shaw said. “Officers are also required to be counsellors, medics, community liaisons and community champions.
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“We were able to pinpoint public concerns and address what they see as the most pressing matters.
“But police continue to work to manage and mitigate the damage done by breaches of coronavirus legislation.”
The police operation involved the Met's east London neighbourhood teams and the Mounted Branch at Bow, as well as Tower Hamlets and Hackney local authorities.
Tower Hamlets deputy mayor Sirajul Islam said: “Police and council officers are patrolling our streets and enforcing the restrictions where necessary. Most people continue to follow Covid restrictions, making personal sacrifices for the safety of the community.”
Town Hall officials are working with the Met Police in issuing fines to “those who are putting others at risk by continuing to break the rules”.
One illegal party that police and council officers raided was being staged at the former 200-year-old Davenant Foundation school building in Whitechapel being used as a "cannabis cafe". One person who appeared to be in charge was arrested in possession of a firearm. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were seized and a closure notice on the premises was issued.