Police issued nearly £15,000 worth of COVID-19 fines after being called to a wedding anniversary celebration in Watford.
Herts police said that officers received a call at around 8.30pm on Sunday 14 February alerting them to an unlawful get-together at a property on Devereux Drive, in the Cassiobury area of Watford.
They continued: “Members of the Watford Intervention Team attended and discovered 18 people inside the address who were contravening lockdown rules.”
All of the partygoers received £800 fines, which amounted to a collective total of £14,400.
Police officers then escorted them from the property.
Sergeant Luke Mitchell, who leads the Watford Community Safety Unit, said: “This was a family gathering and the occupants of the house told officers they were celebrating a wedding anniversary.
“We understand just how difficult the past year has been, with many milestones missed for millions of people across the country, but we are in national lockdown for good reason.
“The £800 fixed penalty notices came into force on Friday 29 January and apply to gatherings of more than 15 people.
“While they will remain a last resort, we will not hesitate to issue them if we feel it is proportionate.
“The statistics show that this lockdown is having a really positive effect on the R number and the virus is no longer spreading as aggressively as before.
“Coupled with the continued roll out of the vaccination programme, we can at last see some light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
“Please, we know it is so tough being separated from our friends and families, as we are going through the same thing, but we urge you to do all you can to help combat this virus.
“That means staying at home and protecting our NHS. We must pull together and see it through so we can return to some semblance of normality.”
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “We have been working really hard with the police to keep our residents and businesses safe during the current lockdown.
“We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, however, the current restrictions are in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“We are continuing to work proactively with residents to bring the number of Covid-19 cases down in Watford. Cases will only continue to drop if we follow the health advice and stick to safe working practises.
“If a person does not comply, then we will not hesitate to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to those who are not exempt, yet continue to wilfully ignore what is mandatory.”
Source: Herts Police