Police issued nearly £15,000 worth of COVID-19 fines after being called to a wedding anniversary celebration in Watford.
Officers received a call at around 8.30pm on Sunday, February 14 alerting them to an unlawful get-together at a property on Devereux Drive, in the Cassiobury area of the town.
Members of the Watford Intervention Team attended and discovered 18 people inside the address who were contravening lockdown rules. They all received £800 fines, which amounted to a collective total of £14,400, before officers 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.”