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Council cracks down on illegal gatherings after two in Barking & Dagenham

Officers were called to two illegal gatherings over the weekend (credit: Met police)

A zero-tolerance approach has been announced for Barking and Dagenham, after two illegal parties were held in the borough over the weekend.

Officers were called to an illegal gathering of more than 260 people, who descended in Broad Street in Dagenham on Friday evening.

Crowds also turned up for a rave in a disused warehouse, close to the Lodge Avenue flyover in Barking, on Saturday.

The local council has promised to take action on those holding events which breach coronavirus guidance.

On Friday night, an enforcement abatement notice was immediately issued requiring the music to stop and DJ to pack up.

Just over 25 penalty charge notices were issued for cars parked wrongly and blocking resident’s homes.

Council officers imposed a voluntary closure on the event organiser and listed a number of offences committed and action to be taken against them.

Attendees to the event were gone by 11.30pm and no arrests were made.

Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, Councillor Margaret Mullane, said: “I would like to commend the officers and police for their prompt response to what was an illegal event and a totally irresponsible thing to do.

“Most especially during the lockdown period when people are social distancing and we are doing the best to keep residents safe, we are determined that such events can’t and will not be allowed anywhere in our borough.

“This irresponsible act is not only a breach of Covid guidelines, it is a public health risk and an illegal gathering, and we are determined to come down hard on anyone responsible.”

On Saturday, two arrests were made at the illegal rave in Barking. The crowd dispersed with few incidents.

Police and council officers attended the site on Sunday afternoon to check the site and make contact with the landowners.

Anyone with information about an Unlicensed Music Event can call police via 101 (Non-Emergency), 999 (Emergency), or on the Met Police website.

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