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Havering police bring in more officers to prevent illegal music events

Gatherings of more than 30 people are still not allowed 

There are additional police officers in Havering this weekend to stop illegal music events from taking place. 

Residents are being reminded gatherings of people playing amplified music are unlawful. 

The Chief Inspector for Neighbourhood Policing in Havering, Lisa Butterfield, told Time 107.5 they try to speak to organisers before any events take place:

“We do a daily scanning for it,” she said. “We have people out in our community, both our police officers and people who live here, and if they see flyers or things on social media they tell us.

“We try and explain the law and pandemic concerns before people have taken on alcohol and drugs and it looks like we are spoiling their event.”

However, sometimes officers are not able to meet organisers before illegal gatherings take place: 

“We don’t always find out where they are going to be and we still have to do that enforcement work but we always try and strike that balance of engaging with people and explaining what we’re trying to do,” added Ma’am Butterfield.  

She also explained officers are mindful that while house parties are not illegal, they do sometimes go wrong.

There have been concerns people will stop following social distancing guidelines as pubs, restaurants and other businesses reopen today. 

“It is really important to remember this weekend, more than any so far throughout lockdown, that we are still in a pandemic,” said Ma’am Butterfield.

She explained social distancing guidelines still apply and people should remain two metres apart. However, a one metre gap is allowed if people take mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask or having a barrier separating them from the other person. 

Havering police have taken these additional measures following violent clashes between officers and people attending illegal music events across London over the last two weeks. 

Last night, seven officers were injured while attempting to stop an unlawful event in White City, west London. They had bricks and other missiles thrown at them.  

There were similar scenes of violence during an illegal gathering in Brixton on Wednesday, 24 June. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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