Multiple house parties disrupted and hefty fines issued

Video footage of one of the parties taken by a police officer’s body camera

Police disrupted multiple house parties across the Avon and Somerset force area at the weekend – including one in Kingswood – and issued 47 fixed penalty notices – 13 of which were for £800.

On Friday the minimum penalty which can be given to anyone attending a party or gathering of more than 15 people quadrupled, with fines of up to £6,400 for repeat offenders.

Those attending gatherings of 15 people or fewer are still subject to a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £200 which doubles with each repeated offence.

Between Friday and Sunday officers attended more than a dozen reports of house parties.

One party, on Tyndalls Park Road, Bristol, was attended by more than 50 people while officers found around 30 people at a house on Ashgrove Road, Bristol.

Several people fled the Tyndalls Park Road address when officers arrived but FPNs of £800 were still issued to 13 people while six others were also given formal warnings. Music equipment was also seized from the address.

Two people at the Ashgrove Road party were fined while words of advice were given to the others in attendance.

When officers arrived at a house party on Brighton Road, Bristol, several of the occupants jumped over the garden fence in a bid to escape and others hid inside the property. All parties were eventually accounted for and £200 fines were given to 10 people.

Six people found having a party at an address on Hotwell Road, four at a house on Shrubbery Avenue, Weston-super-Mare and four at a property on Coldharbour Lane, Stoke Gifford were also issued with COVID-19 fines.

While FPNs were also handed to eight people attending gatherings at properties on at Elmtree Way in Kingswood, Apsley Road and Denmark Street in Bristol and Walsh Close in Weston-super-Mare.

Inspector Ruth Gawler said: “Millions of people across the country are diligently following the rules and making huge sacrifices to limit the spread of coronavirus. Yet there is clearly a selfish minority who seem to think the rules don’t apply to them and they can go about their lives as normal.

“Their actions are not only putting themselves at risk, but risking the lives of their families, friends, and their whole community.

“The fact people tried to flee from officers is evidence they know exactly what they are doing is wrong.

“We will not stand by and let these irresponsible few break the rules in this egregious manner and we will give them severe penalties.”

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