Coronavirus: Hundreds flout lockdown rules to attend party in east London

Images of Clapton party come as thousands of people were pictured on packed beaches across UK

Rory Sullivan
Sunday 31 May 2020 12:07
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Hundreds of people flouted lockdown rules by attending an illegal party in east London overnight, the police have said.

Pictures and videos on social media show the mass gathering on Detmold Road, Clapton, where a DJ was reportedly playing to the crowds.

Hackney Police said they received help from a police helicopter to deal with the incident.

At around midnight on Sunday, the force tweeted: “There is a large scale unlicensed music event in a residential street in E5 involving many hundreds of revellers.

@NPASSouthEast are providing aerial support to officers on the ground. Apologies for aircraft noise but their involvement is essential to the policing operation.”

A large group of people also gathered on Hackney Marshes on Saturday despite the lockdown.

In a video showing the crowds, one man says: “Check this out, there’s a party going on in the park. There’s like a DJ down this side.”

Elsewhere, other parks and beaches in England appeared packed, with members of the public making the most of the warm weather.

A police photograph from the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset showed hundreds of people standing close together. They had been moved to allow air ambulances to land, after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea.

Chief Inspector Claire Phillips, of Dorset Police, said: "We have had to close the beach at Durdle Door to allow air ambulances to land. As a result, we are evacuating the beach and the surrounding cliff area.”

These and large gatherings came amid mounting fears about a second wave of coronavirus.

As of Monday, family and friends will be allowed to meet up in gardens and public outdoor spaces in socially-distanced groups of up to six.

Four members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned about the risks of easing lockdown too quickly.

Professor Anthony Costello, a former director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), predicted the resurgence of the virus in a tweet on Saturday evening.

Mr Costello said: "We have 8000 cases daily, a private testing system set up without connection to primary care, call-centre tracing that appears a fiasco, and no digital app. After 4 months. Unless the population has hidden (T cell?) immunity, we're heading for resurgence."

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