DJ fined £10k for breaching Covid-19 restrictions with illegal rave

By Owen Sheppard, local democracy reporter

An illegal rave attended by more than 150 people was raided in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Amps and DJing equipment were seized and police issued a number of £200 fines to revellers. A £10,000 fine was issued to a DJ.

The secret party was discovered in the ground floor and basement of an empty high street shop in 145 Edgware Road, Paddington.

Westminster Council has said the DJ – who has not been named – is believed to have helped organise other illegal events around the city.

On the night, loud music was heard “blaring” and attendees were spotted “entering into the building through a rear fire door”.

Council officers arrived after being alerted by residents living on the Water Gardens Estate, where flats are located directly above the venue.

A statement from the council said: “There was very little sign of people wearing face coverings and no social distancing was taking place.

“Each attendee was presented with a £200 fine for a breach of Covid regulations, and the DJ was served with a £10k fine as well as having their music equipment seized by officers.”

The council said it will also issue closure notices on the venue to prevent attempts to organise parties there in future.

Public records show there is no premises licence currently associated with the property.

In September last year, planning permission was given to convert the former High and Mighty men’s clothes shop into a restaurant.  The company behind the plans was approached for comment but did not respond.

Councillor Heather Acton, cabinet member for communities, said: “Not only can such gatherings cause disruption to the local community and fly in the face of all public health guidance, the intervention necessary puts our teams and police colleagues at risk of dangerous exposure at a time where we should all be keeping our distance.

The Conservative councillor added: “Please do not even think about holding an event. Along with the police, our city inspectors are out on the streets of Westminster at all times and will take the strongest action needed.”

The Met Police was approached for further information but they did not respond.

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