Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021

Seriously? Police called to illegal Covid party – and find officers dancing inside

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Sussex Police responded to reports of loud music at a property in Hove on May 15 and found a number of off-duty officers inside. Up to 10 serving officers were involved in the incident last month, a source said.

Responding officers were called to the house shortly before 9pm and a source said guests had been enjoying music, alcohol and food.

At the time, two different households were not allowed to mix indoors and socialising inside was limited to people inside a coronavirus bubble.

During the pandemic, police officers have been tasked with enforcing the rules, including handing out hefty fines of up to £10,000.

A source described the incident as a “major embarrassment for the force”.

They said: “The party was quite a loud affair with music, alcohol and food and lots of guests having a great time.

“The officers who responded must have got quite a shock.

“To find that a load of serving police officers are being ‘Covidiots’ is a major embarrassment for the force, especially as they have been handing out these draconian £10,000 fines to Covid rule-breakers.

“People will be watching to make sure the same penalties are handed out to those found to have broken the rules.”

Sussex Police said the incident is being investigated by the Professional Standards Department.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “Police officers were called to an address in Hove, following reports of a gathering inside on Saturday, 15 May at 8.46pm.

“They entered and found a number of off-duty officers present.

“This incident, in breach of current lockdown restrictions, is being investigated by the force’s professional standards department.”

Chief Superintendent Nick May said the force takes breaches of coronavirus rules “very seriously”.

He added the officers involved continue to serve the force while an investigation is carried out.

Chief Superintendent May added: “We take Covid-related breaches very seriously and we are actively investigating this matter.

“The officers involved have not been suspended while the investigation continues.”

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The UK entered stage two of the roadmap out of lockdown from April 12 and during that period indoor gatherings between two different households were banned.

Restrictions on indoor gatherings were slightly relaxed on May 17 and permitted six people or two households to meet indoors.

Up to 30 people are now permitted to meet in outdoor settings.

The Prime Minister is set to confirm whether stage four of the roadmap on June 21 can go ahead at a briefing on June 14.
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