New Year’s Eve was a busy night for police in London, as officers attended an anti-lockdown protest and broke up illegal raves.
The capital is currently under tier four restrictions and had an infection rate of 735.5 per 100,000 people in the week to December 27.
Health experts begged people not to meet in large groups, with many people likely to be at their most infectious now if they picked up coronavirus seeing family over Christmas.
The capital faces a shortage of critical care beds, and Royal London Hospital, one of the city’s busiest, told staff in an email it had gone into ‘disaster medicine mode’.
But despite all of this this and the threat of a £10,000 fine for organising unlicensed music events, people in the capital still went out partying to ring in the new year.
Police in Barking and Dagenham, east London, said 70-100 people dispersed when they shut down an unlicensed music event.
Officers seized sound equipment and said they found 1,000 bottles of alcohol at the location.
The force tweeted: ‘Enquiries will be ongoing at venue re organiser & post incident. Working with partners & local residents & cctv to review.
‘By attending an Unlicensed Event you put yourself, others & your families & friends at risk. That then has consequences for those in the frontline.’
Barking and Dagenham police broke up another gathering of around 60 partygoers and issued a £10,000 fine to the organiser.
The Met also shut down an illegal New Year’s Eve rave in London’s Royal Docks, with officers pictured clearing an industrial venue littered with bottles and laughing gas canisters.
Newham Police tweeted: ‘A large unlicensed music event has been shut down by officers tonight in Royal Docks.
‘Arrests made and considerations being given for a £10,000 fine for breaches of Covid-19 legislation.’
Meanwhile anti-lockdown protesters gathered in central London to demonstrate against restrictions and businesses being closed down.
Among those spotted in the crowd on the South Bank was notorious anti-lockdown campaigner and anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn.
Police officers could be heard shouting ‘go home’ over a speakerphone as protesters marched through the street.
Metro.co.uk has asked the Metropolitan Police how many people were arrested in the capital for flouting coronavirus restrictions.
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