London police clamp down on illegal parties in upmarket Kensington and Chelsea

More than 200 people attended a party last Sunday on Beauchamp Place, a high-end shopping street

London police have broken up a string of illegal parties at commercial venues in the wealthy borough of Kensington and Chelsea, as authorities clamp down on gatherings that break the Covid-19 rules.

Under the current lockdown in England, people have been told they must stay at home unless absolutely necessary and gatherings between households are banned. The government has vowed to increase fines for those who do not stick to the regulations.

Last Sunday at about 3.30am, police raided a party with more than 200 guests on Beauchamp Place, a high-end shopping street.

Two police officers were injured as attendees tried to flee and escape being fined. About 30 people were fined and authorities are preparing a three-month closure order for the owners of the property, which has previously breached Covid-19 legislation.

Last Saturday, police found more than 30 people socialising at an address in west London and are reportedly considering fining the owner of the property £10,000 ($13,683).

On December 20, an illegal gathering was discovered at a commercial property in Knightsbridge that had previously been penalised for Covid breaches. It has now been closed for at least three months.

“The above three instances were flagrant breaches of Covid legislation and could potentially have put multiple people at risk of contracting or spreading the virus,” said Superintendent Michael Walsh of London’s Metropolitan Police.

“Attending or organising such parties during this critical period is an incredibly selfish decision to make and we will continue to take action against those who flout the rules.

“My officers continue to work incredibly hard to uphold Covid legislation in order to keep people safe. While the majority of breaches have been resolved without incident, it deeply saddens me that some individuals have chosen to assault police officers who are simply doing their part in the collective battle against this deadly virus,” he said.

Local councillor Emma Willis said the businesses were “disturbing local residents and placing their own customers and the wider public at significant risk again and again”.