Airbnb house party violence leaves police officer with broken finger
- Credit: MPS
An illegal house party in Brick Lane turned violent when police swooped to shut it down on Friday (January 15) night.
Neighbours reported hearing loud music and the police were called to a property understood to be hired out via the website Airbnb.
After entering the building, police found more than 40 people found cramped inside, clearly flouting Covid restrictions.
Those in attendance turned on the police and a struggle broke out, injuring two officers and leaving another with a broken finger.
Several arrests were made for breaching lockdown regulations, possession of a class B drug and assault on an emergency worker.
Some of the cocky guests even snuck back into the property, despite being ordered to go home, as arrests were being made.
A closure order has now been issued to the owner and it cannot be made available for rent for the next three months.
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Acting Chief Inspector Pete Shaw, Covid lead for Central East BCU, criticised the selfishness of those breaking the rules and putting others lives at risk.
He said: "To organise and attend parties and to open non-essential businesses is an insult to these people.
“What shocks me is that people are willing to break these rules and astoundingly, then assault my officers who are doing their best to help keep this virus at bay – wherever possible.
"We will absolutely not tolerate assault on police officers. It goes without saying that anyone who harms an emergency worker will face the full force of the law."
A further incident in Tower Hamlets included a mobile phone shop continuing to serve customers, while officers had to intervene and disperse as many as 80 people queuing to get into a bubble tea shop.
“We are almost twelve months into this global pandemic and frankly the rules we must all follow have never been clearer," Acting Chief Inspector Shaw continued.
"It is safe to assume that the people who broke the rules this weekend did so willingly and in doing so, put their lives and those of their community at risk.
"Currently, the spread of coronavirus in London is out of control. Hospitals, paramedics and medical professionals across the UK are working tirelessly to meet the needs of people who are extremely ill with the virus."
The fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid rules were just some of 140 handed out by police across east London this weekend.
Patrols in Tower Hamlets, as well as in nearby Hackney, saw fines totalling £39,000 given out by cops.
John Biggs, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, said the measures are in place "to protect the NHS and save lives".
He added: "The vast majority of residents in our borough are taking the situation seriously, so it’s only right that we take appropriate action against those flouting the rules and putting people’s lives at risk.
"We will continue to work with local police to enforce the Covid lockdown so we can keep Tower Hamlets safe.”