Watford partygoers fined £15,000 for COVID-19 breach

Police received a tipoff about on Valentines night alerting them to an unlawful 8pm get-together at a property on Devereux Drive, in the Cassiobury area of the town.

Watford Intervention Team discovered a wedding anniversary celebration with 18 people inside contravening lockdown rules dand all of them where handed £800 fines, which amounted to a collective total of £14,400, before officers escorted them from the property.

Sergeant Luke Mitchell, who leads the Watford Community Safety Unit, said: “This was a family gathering and the occupants of the house told officers they were celebrating a wedding anniversary. We understand just how difficult the past year has been, with many milestones missed for millions of people across the country, but we are in national lockdown for good reason.

“The £800 fixed penalty notices came into force on Friday 29 January and apply to gatherings of more than 15 people. While they will remain a last resort, we will not hesitate to issue them if we feel it is proportionate.

“The statistics show that this lockdown is having a really positive effect on the R number and the virus is no longer spreading as aggressively as before. Coupled with the continued roll out of the vaccination programme, we can at last see some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.

“Please, we know it is so tough being separated from our friends and families, as we are going through the same thing, but we urge you to do all you can to help combat this virus. That means staying at home and protecting our NHS. We must pull together and see it through so we can return to some semblance of normality.”

For further information on the current restrictions, you can visit the Government website.

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