This is the shocking moment police raid an illegal party in a marquee with 50 revellers inside.
Bodycam footage shows police officers storming in and breaking up the gathering in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, on New Year’s Eve.
Bedfordshire Police has handed the organiser a £10,000 fine after giving them a warning following a tip-off, but still returning to find dozens of party-goers.
The event featured a dance floor, disco lights, four speakers, tables and chairs.
Body cam footage shows police officers storming in and breaking up the illegal party in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, on New Year’s Eve
In the video, a police officer can be heard shouting ‘get out of the marquee now’ while a female responds: ‘I live here.’
A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: ‘People are being warned of the consequences of attending large gatherings during lockdown after the organiser of a New Year’s Eve party attended by dozens of people was issued with a £10,000 fine.
‘We have published an open letter to anyone looking to attend large gatherings such as parties, protests or funerals which breach the existing regulations, warning that officers will take enforcement action to disperse large groups of people.
‘The fresh call comes after action was taken against the organiser of a party at a location near Leighton Buzzard.
‘On 31 December officers called to the site had found a marquee with a number of tables and chairs, a small dance floor and four speakers.
‘The organiser was spoken to and given words of advice, but when officers returned later they found around 50 people in attendance.
‘Police were able to bring the event to a close and disperse the attendees. After reviewing the evidence, officers have now issued a £10,000 fine to main organiser for breaching Covid-19 regulations.’
Chief Superintendent John Murphy, who is leading the force’s Covid response, said: ‘Throughout the pandemic, we have been working with our partners to urge and remind members of the public to adhere to the Government guidance so we can all play our part in stopping the spread of the virus, so it is astonishing to see people brazenly and blatantly ignoring these rules.
Police officers wearing face coverings pictured approaching the revellers as they disband the illegal New Year’s Eve party in Bedfordshire
A police officer seen inside the marquee. The event featured a dance floor, disco lights, tinsel, balloons, four speakers and numerous tables and chairs
In the video, a police officer can be heard shouting ‘get out of the marquee now’ while a female responds: ‘I live here’. Police had earlier given a warning following a tip-off
‘This party was not only a huge breach, but also showed a total lack of respect to those people who haven’t been able to attend the funeral of a loved one, or spend Christmas and New Year with their friends and family, which is why we have not taken this lightly and have taken firm action.
‘We understand the past 10 months have been difficult for everyone and we are grateful to those who have been following the guidelines, but the pressure on the NHS is still immense and we all need to everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe.’
The force added that it has issued 103 fixed penalty notices for Covid-19 regulation breaches over the past week, with 399 incidents reported over the same period.
There were similar raves across the country, as Greater Manchester Police issued 105 fines, compared to 66 in Brighton and Hove.
The maximum fine for breaking coronavirus restrictions is £10,000 for the most egregious breaches.
A top police officer previously slammed New Year’s Eve revellers who ignored Covid lockdown rules and ‘decided partying was more important than protecting other people’.
Bottles of what appears to be alcohol pictured at the event in Bedfordshire. The organiser was handed a £10,000 fine after police found dozens of party-goers, despite giving a warning
Bedfordshire Police officers inside the marquee as they break up the party. The force has issued 103 fixed penalty notices for Covid-19 regulation breaches over the past week
Revellers pictured at the illegal gathering. Bedfordshire Police said: ‘The organiser was spoken to and given words of advice, but when officers returned later they found around 50 people’
A woman who organised an event in Sewardstonebury involving a fire dancer and an entertainer was fined £10,000.
Elsewhere in the county officers broke up an illegal rave at an abandoned church in East Horndon and another at a warehouse in Brentwood.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet criticised those who ‘decided to blatantly flout the coronavirus rules and regulations and, ultimately, they decided that partying was more important than protecting other people’.
Met Police issued 217 people with fixed penalty fines and five people could receive £10,000 fines for organising large gatherings across London.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier confirmed people would only be allowed to celebrate indoors on December 31 with people in their own household, saying the Government would ‘not be bringing in a special set of rules’ for New Year.
There are some exemptions that apply to gatherings, such as those that are necessary for work purposes, escaping the risk of harm and providing emergency assistance.