Lockdown flouters caught holding boozy drug-fuelled rave face £13,600 in fines

A group of lockdown flouters caught holding a booze and drug-fuelled rave are facing up to more than £13,000 in fines.

The wild party, in London's exclusive Knightsbridge area, saw a total of 17 partygoers each slapped with a fixed penalty notice of £800.

Some of the coronavirus lockdown breakers tried to argue with police that they should be allowed to socialise.

Officers were called to the address on Saturday night after reports of the party and loud music. They arrived to find a crowd of more than 20 people from different households boozing inside.

A search of the property, which had been rented for the party, also found drugs.

One attendee confessed to travelling around 20 miles from Slough in Berkshire to be at the party despite rules banning people from non-essential travel.

Chief Superintendent Helen Harper, the Met's borough commander, said: "Those who have followed the Covid-19 rules from the outset of the pandemic are, I am sure, fed up of seeing and hearing about blatant breaches of the legislation such as this.

"Whilst explaining why attendees would be issued with fines, my officers were met with resistance from some who felt that they had every right to meet and socialise.

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"I would like to reiterate the words of my officers: across the capital and the country, there are people whose quality of life will be detrimentally affected by the virus, and others who will not survive at all."

A Met Police spokesman added: "Responding to reports from concerned members of the public, officers in Knightsbridge attended an address where a house party was taking place on the night of Saturday, 6 February.

"More than 20 people from different households were present at the private property.

"Loud music was being played and attendees were consuming alcohol. After finding clear signs of drug use, officers searched those present and retrieved a bladed weapon and a small quantity of drugs.

"One person admitted to travelling from Slough to attend the party in a clear breach of lockdown rules.

"It was later discovered that the property had been rented out over the weekend specifically for the party.

"Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the rental agreement and identify the owner."

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