Police warn Londoners: ‘do not break rules to celebrate New Year’

With coronavirus cases spiralling across London and the capital placed in Tier 4 restrictions, the Met Police are urging people to celebrate the New Year safe and at home.

Londoners have been warned that police will be on patrol looking for opportunistic revellers and rule-breakers.

Those who break the rules will likely be slapped with a large fine.

Commander Paul Brogden, leading this year’s operation, said: “We are still dealing with the stark reality of fighting a deadly virus.

“The public are all too aware that tier 4 restrictions have been put in place to reduce the spread of the virus and to protect the NHS. I would urge everyone to exercise caution, listen to government advice and celebrate the new year in the comfort of their own homes, not the homes of family and friends.”

The public can expect to see officers deployed across the capital, supporting communities and focusing strongly on the few people intent on breaching and ignoring the guidance put in place to keep everyone safe.

Officers will also be paying attention to parts of London that are experiencing the highest infection rates.

Commander Brogden said: “As we have throughout the year, if we become aware of planned events that breach Covid regulations, we will engage with organisers or venues to make them fully aware of the legal consequences and encourage them to cancel. Failure to cancel such events, like unlicensed music events, will likely see the organiser facing a very significant fine.

“Although the New Year is almost upon us, now is not the time for complacency or to meet with others and hold parties of any kind.

“If people insist on gathering and breaching regulations, then officers will attend and encourage people to disperse. Where necessary, enforcement action, including fines starting at £100 and working their way up to £10,000, will be considered.”

Four London boroughs have infection rates above 1,000 new cases every seven days per 100,000 people: Havering, Redbridge, Enfield, and Barking and Dagenham.

Cases remain high across most of the capital.

Mr Brogden added: “I would finally like to remind Londoners that there will be no firework show in central London this year. There is also a reduced service on some transport routes across the capital.

“Please welcome in 2021 from the comfort of your own home instead of being stuck in central London with nothing to see and no easy way of getting home.”

Harrow Times | Local News