Investigation launched after Stamford Hill lockdown wedding
- Credit: Nick Ansell/PA
Police have launched an investigation to identify the organisers of a wedding party.
The organiser of a wedding in north London is facing a £10,000 fine after police found a crowd breaching Covid regulations.
Police were called at 9.14pm on Thursday (January 21) to reports of a large gathering at a school in Egerton Road. Officers say the group had gathered for a wedding and had taken a number of steps to mask their activity, covering up windows and closing gates.
The Met initially said around 400 people were found in attendance, but it has now said the figure was about 150.
The organiser of the event will be reported for consideration of a £10,000 fine while five other attendees were issued with £200 fixed penalty notices.
Det Ch Supt Marcus Barnett, Central East BCU Commander, said: "This was a completely unacceptable breach of the law, which is very clearly in place to save lives and protect the NHS - an NHS that is under considerable pressure at a time when Covid-19 has killed nearly 100,000 people.
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"This is a deadly and very dangerous disease. We can all see that and we must act responsibly.
“People across the country are making sacrifices by cancelling or postponing weddings and other celebrations and there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. My officers are working tirelessly with the community and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action if that is required to keep people safe.
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“Given the seriousness of this breach and the number of people who were in attendance, I have asked my local officers to conduct a post-incident investigation. This wedding broke the law and put lives in danger and I am determined to take action to identify all those responsible for organising the event and ensure they are held to account.”
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “I am deeply disappointed that events of this nature are still happening in Stamford Hill, despite the very grave pandemic situation we find ourselves in, and the number of lives that have already been lost in the Charedi community and across the borough.
“We support the police in taking such rapid and firm action. We had already written to venues including this school reminding them of the regulations and are shocked that they are continuing to breach them. Whilst we appreciate the central role that weddings play in the life of all our communities, the current regulations are there to protect everyone.
"We will be meeting with the Rabbinate and our community partners over the coming days to see how we can prevent further incidents of this nature.”