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    Police swoop on 86 mask-free worshippers at religious service in house and fine organiser £10,000

    Police swoop on 86 mask-free worshippers holding religious service in house and fine organiser £10,000 for breaking Covid lockdown rules

    • Met Police discovered illegal gathering in Harrow, west London, on October 25
    • Officers unable to enter home as so many were inside, ignoring social distancing
    • PC Sean Carroll said it is ‘deeply disappointing’ people continue to flout the rules
    • Police can issue £10k to organisers holding illegal gathering of over 30 people 

    Police have today fined the organiser of a religious service £10,000 for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules after swooping on 86 mask-free worshippers in a house.  

    Officers discovered the illegal gathering in Harrow, west London, but were unable to enter the residential home because so many people were crammed inside, all ignoring social distancing advice.

    The Metropolitan Police said the service was taking place at around 11.30am on October 25 when the force was alerted.

    Police have fined the organiser of a religious service £10,000 after swooping on 86 mask-free worshippers at a house in Harrow, west London, at around 11.30am on October 25 (file photo)

    A spokesman said: ‘After officers arrived, they were unable to enter the property due to the number of people inside.

    ‘It was established that the gathering was a religious service. Attendees made no attempt to socially distance or wear a face covering. 

    ‘Officers engaged with the organiser and explained that they were in breach of the coronavirus regulations and that guests needed to leave immediately.

    ‘All 86 attendees then left the premises. The organiser has since been reported for consideration of a £10,000 fine.

    ‘Coronavirus regulations have been put in place to save lives. To keep yourself out of trouble and to keep everyone safe, do not organise or attend large gatherings.’

    Police constable Sean Carroll, of the North West BCU, commented: ‘The coronavirus regulations have been put in place to protect us all and it is deeply disappointing that people continue to flout them. 

    ‘On this occasion, due to the seriousness of the breach, it was decided that the organisers should be reported for consideration of a fine.

    ‘Large gatherings such as this can be a breeding ground for the virus, so we make no apologies for our determined efforts to shut them down and report the rule breakers.’

    Met Police officers discovered the illegal gathering in Harrow, west London, but were unable to enter the residential home because so many people were crammed inside (file photo)

    Met Police officers discovered the illegal gathering in Harrow, west London, but were unable to enter the residential home because so many people were crammed inside (file photo)

    The comments follow police raiding a birthday party with 60 guests on October 30 after discovering a function room filled with booze and decorated with balloons and huge speakers, leaving organisers with a £10,000 fine.

    Bodyworn camera footage taken by West Midlands Police officers showed dozens of revellers leaving the party at a function room in Bilston, Wolverhampton.

    People can meet exercise outdoors or visit outdoor public places with one person from another household, according to the latest Covid-19 measures introduced last Thursday. 

    Police can fine £200 for first-time offenders who break the rule, doubling for each further offence, and can issue £10,000 to organisers holding an illegal gathering of over 30 people. 

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