Police appeared to be ramping up fines this weekend as they issued £70,000 in penalties to just two parties in central London and cracked down on beach-goers flouting lockdown.
Northumbria Police were seen battling to keep motorists from arriving at the beach in South Shields, South Tyneside, today, as they handed out compliance letters to people travelling outside their local area.
Earlier this morning, at 1.30am, Metropolitan Police issued penalties of £800 each to 50 people at an illegal gathering at a property in Green Street, Mayfair, central London.
Police officers stop to issue compliance letters to motorists travelling from afar to South Shields seaside, in South Tyneside this afternoon
The organiser of the party, a 29-year-old man was reported and issued with a fine of £10,000 for breaching Covid regulations.
Just half an hour later at 2am the force were called to another party within 1,600ft of the first, at a flat in Brooks Mews.
A further 20 people were handed £800 fines – an investigation is ongoing to identify the organiser of the event.
Crowds of people walk close together along South Shields beach, in South Tyneside, this afternoon
Sunseekers flock to the seaside ignoring Government appeals to stay indoors to stop the spread of Covid
Inspector Kevin Fagan of the Central West Command Unit which covers Westminster said: ‘Despite recent announcements about how and when Covid restrictions may be eased, nothing has changed in terms of the regulations.
‘Illegal gatherings like this are irresponsible and put pressure on the emergency services who have do deal with the consequences of these people’s selfish actions.
‘The rules are clear, as should be the message that the police will enforce them where wilful breaches are found to have taken place.’
Green Street, near Hyde Park, Mayfair, where 50 people were fined £800 each for partying and an organiser was handed a £10,000 penalty
Brooks Mews in Mayfair, Westminster, where 20 guests were found partying on Sunday morning
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