Two police officers were injured after breaking up a huge party of more than 200 people on one of London’s most exclusive streets.
Revellers became hostile as they tried to flee the illegal event on Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge, which is around the corner from Harrods.
Police received reports of a mass gathering taking place in the wealthy neighbourhood – where the average property value is around £2.8 million – at 3.30am on Sunday January 17.
Several units were deployed to the venue, where they found over 200 people attending an illegal party.
As police worked to disperse the crowds on the street surrounding the address, attendees became hostile and pushed through officers in an attempt to avoid being fined, leaving two officers wounded.
Police bodycam footage shows people tripping down steps as they make a run for it while officers shout ‘stay there’ and attempt to grab the rule-breakers.
Police broke up the illegal party on January 17 (Picture: Met Police)
No arrests were made on the night, but 30 fines were issued and a three month closure order is being prepared for the owner of the establishment, the Met said today.
The owner has previously been issued with a £1,000 penalty for breaches of Covid legislation.
Superintendent Michael Walsh, of the Met’s Central West Basic Command Unit, said: ‘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.
‘We will absolutely not tolerate assaults on police officers. It goes without saying that anyone who harms an emergency worker will face the full force of the law.’
Police were injured as people fled to avoid being fined (Picture: Met Police)
The Met revealed the Knightsbridge party was one of three recent illegal events to take place in Kensington and Chelsea, which in 2019 was named the richest local authority area in the UK.
Police raided an address on Harrow Road on January 16 when 30 people met up, with the owner facing a £10,000 fine.
Officers also shut down an illegal party at a commercial property on Montpelier Street on December 20, leading to it being closed for three months. Police said it was the second time they had discovered an illegal event taking place at that location.
Councillor Emma Will, Lead Member for Communities for Kensington and Chelsea, condemned the businesses’ actions and warned people who continue to flout rules ‘will face consequences’.
Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge, where the event took place (Picture: Google Maps)
‘These businesses refused to adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions, disturbing local residents and placing their own customers and the wider public at significant risk again and again,’ she said.
‘Where breaches like this occur our council officers will work with the police, using the full range of both our powers to tackle those who break the law.’
It comes amid a spate of large breaches of the national lockdown.
Detectives are hunting for organisers of a 150-person wedding that took place at a Jewish girls’ school on Thursday.
Downing Street condemned the ‘selfish’ illegal gathering, which took place hours after Priti Patel announced a new £800 fine for illegal parties of more than 15 people.
Elsewhere, the owner of a makeshift nail salon operating from a garden outbuilding in Croydon, south London, is facing a £1,000 fine, while two women found having treatments there on Monday could get £200 fixed-penalty notices.
Police have also given penalties to seven people who gathered to watch TV and eat together at a home in Romford, east London, last Sunday.
And a group of three households who drove 20 miles in Storm Christoph to have a barbecue were also stung with fines for breaching Covid-rules.
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