- The teenager hosted a party with more than 50 guests in violation of restrictions on social gatherings in the U.K.
- The cops allegedly gave the teen an initial warning to shut down the party but he “deliberately flouted” the rules
- The number of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom as of Monday was 368,504
A British teenager who was fined £10,000 ($12,823 USD) for hosting a large house party amid the coronavirus pandemic has apologized to his neighbors.
The 19-year-old host was given the penalty notice after police found more than 50 attendees at the Sept. 11 party at his home in Lenton, Nottinghamshire. The teen will have to appear before a court if he fails to pay the penalty or decides to contest it, Nottinghamshire Live reported.
Nottinghamshire police said officers from the Nottingham City Council were alerted of the party by the residents in the neighborhood. The police who responded to the house were met with “hostility from the organizer”. They had reportedly given him an initial warning to shut down the party but the department said he had “deliberately flouted” the rules. The cops then ordered all the guests to leave the party.
The unidentified teenager sent a letter to his neighbors over the weekend, calling the party a “foolish gathering” and apologizing for the “major lapse of judgment,” the BBC reported.
The host reportedly wrote in the letter the party was held to celebrate two housemates recently turning 21 and was meant for just 25 people, complying with the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“However, it quickly became out of hand,” he wrote. “It was never our intention to disrupt your evening. It was a major lapse in judgement (sic) on our end. We are eager to make amends.”
The teenager was fined days before a new rule came into effect amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
Steve Cooper, assistant chief constable with Nottinghamshire Police, said under the previous rules anyone hosting house parties with more than 30 people would face a hefty fine and that the officers were ready to exert “full powers” against those who “deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.”
“We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions,” the Nottinghamshire Live quoted Cooper as saying.
Beginning Monday, social gatherings throughout the United Kingdom are limited to six people. The new rule enables authorities to issue a hefty fine to violators. Officers hoped the Friday incident would serve as an early warning to those thinking of hosting large parties.
The “rule of six” restriction follows Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies member and former chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport’s warning that the U.K. is “on the edge of losing control of coronavirus,” BBC reported. Total cases of infection in the country, as of Monday, is 368,504, with the death tally reaching 41,628, according to the data from Worldometer.