The UK government on Sunday announced tougher measures against organizers of “dangerous” parties, whom the Home Secretary said showed “a blatant disregard for the safety of others.”
The new rule will come into effect from Aug. 28, before the August bank holiday, a long weekend during which many people enjoy partying.
Those who organize or facilitate illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or other unlawful gatherings of over 30 people in England can face a fine of up to 10,000 pounds ($13,000), the UK government announced.
Participants in these gatherings can be fined 100 pounds ($130). Fines for repeat offenders can double up to a maximum of 3,200 pounds ($4,200).
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government “will continue to crack down on the small minority who think they are above the law.”
The announcement came after police disrupted dozens of unlicensed parties for the third weekend in a row in Birmingham in the West Midlands, which is currently on the government’s watch list for its high and rising CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus infection rate.
West Midlands Police wrote on Twitter that they were called to break up 96 parties and meet ups on Saturday night.
Over 150 people were caught at an illegal rave near Blackburn, an area in Northwest England, where the infection rate of the CCP virus is second highest in England, according to the latest data (pdf).
The London Metropolitan Police has responded to more than 1,000 unlicensed events since the end of June, the government said.
Ade Adelekan, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for unlicensed music events, said that he welcomed this “deterrent against those who irresponsibly put people’s health and safety at risk.”
He added that these events “are hosted without regard for the safety of those attending, and police have observed cases of anti-social behaviour, sales of drugs, and gang activity.”
Police will increase patrols to prevent illegal gathering, especially in the lead up to the bank holiday weekend.
Fines for not wearing face coverings where it is mandated will also double for repeat offenses, up to 3,200 pounds ($4,200), on Aug. 28.