Covid: 'We'll shut down your illegal house parties' Tower Hamlets mayor warns

House parties being shut down

House parties and illegal gatherings are being shut down and fines issued - Credit: Met Police

Police chiefs have joined the mayor of Tower Hamlets this week in condemning people still flouting the lockdown regulations with house parties or going to illegal raves during the strict lockdown emergency. 

It follows a series of raids when unlicensed music events and parties in private houses were shut down. 

Police chief... "We're in grip of pandemic"

Police chief warns 'we're in grip of pandemic so people must expect a fine if they go to large gatherings.' - Credit: Met Police

“Officers put themselves at risk of catching this virus,” Chief Insp Pete Shaw said. "They have to deal with groups who appear to think that these rules don’t apply to them.”  

The police chief, who led operations by the Met’s East Central command across Tower Hamlets and Hackney, warned: "We are in the grip of a health pandemic. People must expect a fine if they attend a large gathering.” 

Police joined the local authority in raids including an unlicensed music event at premises in Boulcott Street off Commercial Road, near Limehouse DLR, which was shut down and music equipment seized.  

A house party with 50 people at a flat in nearby New Providence Wharf, on the Thames waterfront was broken up when 20 officers turned up and all occupants given £200 fines. 

Police seize equipment at illegal rave in Pixie Street

A police bodycam recorded officers seizing equipment at an illegal rave in Pixie Street - Credit: Met Police

A group of 12 people playing dominoes in a restaurant in Whitechapel Road were issued fines after they tried to hide when officers arrived.  A party being staged on a bus was located in Hertsmere Road in Canary Wharf and six more fines were issued. 

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Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs  said: “It’s shocking to see people having blatant and wilful disregard of Covid-19 regulations which aren't optional and are to protect the public and our NHS.  We’ll continue working with police to identify and enforce against those breaching the rules.”  

Police in November busted an all-night rave in the basement of an empty building in Pixley Street off Burdett Road, next to the Limehouse Cut, which had followed a rave in Poplar two weeks before near the Blackwall Tunnel where 1,000 revellers were packed in.

The council's enforcement team of four government-funded officers alongside staff from environmental health and trading standards is out patrolling with police every day, carrying out spot checks and warning non-essential businesses to close.  

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