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Covid: Organiser of illegal party for 90 fined £10,000

The organiser of an illegal gathering which saw more than 90 party goers at Nottingham city centre property has felt the full weight of the law after being handed the maximum fine.

The 22-year-old man is believed to have booked a venue on Pilcher Gate in the Lace Market using an online booking agency.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police were called to the property at 12.40am following reports from neighbours and were astonished to find the numbers of people at the venue.

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Party-goers were found hiding in a laundry room, bathrooms and lifts. Officers also saw people running into the basement and a number of people also tried to leave through a fire escape.

Revellers it appeared were attracted to the party, which happened on Saturday, April 10, even from outside the county. It was one of the biggest illegal gatherings in Nottinghamshire since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The organiser has now been given the maximum £10,000 fine, which will reduce to half this cost if paid within the next two weeks.

If this is not paid he will then be charged and appear in court.

Nottinghamshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper said: “We have now identified the party organiser and issued him with the maximum fixed penalty notice.

“The tactic of renting properties for large gathering won’t stop officers tracking down individuals.

“This was a party which happened less than two weeks ago, so there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not knowing the rules and following them. While there have been some recent changes with the easing of some of lockdown measures, having illegal gatherings like this are most certainly not allowed and may not be for some time to come, depending what happens with the virus levels.

“Like we have said many times before the vast majority of residents here have responded brilliantly to the pandemic and followed the rules and as a result lives have been saved. But where people take deliberate acts like this we will still come down hard on such individuals as this is simply not acceptable.”

The property is reported to have been booked out through an online service and a total of 85 people were issued with fixed penalty notices of £800 each.

The party came just days before pubs and bars open their outdoor areas on Monday, April 12.

Mr Cooper added: “We must remember that whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel and lockdown restrictions are easing slowly but surely, we must still familiarise ourselves and abide by the regulations that are in place.

“This is to protect the NHS, save lives and ensure that the hard work that is being done to vaccinate people and allow these restrictions to ease is irreversible.”

All payments of fixed penalty notice fines issued under Coronavirus legislation on behalf of police forces in England and Wales are processed by the ACRO Criminal Records Office.

The funds from these payments are distributed to local authorities in England and Wales, in line with legislation.

•  85 people fined £800 each after police called to house party in Nottingham city

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