Police crackdown on Covid breaches across Redbridge

A group of people playing football at the Redbridge Football Club in Barkingside were given a warning over the weekend but...

A group of people playing football at the Redbridge Football Club in Barkingside were given a warning over the weekend but police issued fines for other violations. - Credit: Archant

Police across Redbridge have cracked down on blatant Covid breaches, issuing warnings and fines to party-goers and footballers alike.

On Saturday and Sunday, a group of around 24 footballers were seen playing at the Redbridge Football Club ground in Barkingside.

Police were called on Sunday around 2.15pm and after attending dispersed the group, giving them a warning.

Others didn't get off so lucky with one person being issued a fine at the Fairlop Oak Playing Fields in Hainault on Saturday, January 9 when police discovered a group of people playing football.

On Saturday, police attended to reports of a Covid-19 breach at a house in Ford End, Woodford Green and found a small gathering.

Officers issued three fines to the householder and attendees.

The tougher enforcement comes on the heels of London Mayor Sadiq Khan declaring a major incident in the capital with cases spiralling out of control.

The infection rate in Redbridge is 1,375 per 100,000 people, as of new cases through January 6, but a modelling analysis from Edge Health says that the infection rate in the borough is significantly higher.

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Their analysis estimates that 43 per cent of the borough's population is infected with Covid, compared to the recorded figure of 7.3 per cent.

Edge Health, which works with NHS trusts across the country, estimates that there are 130,806 cases in Redbridge alone and 54 per cent of the population are infected in Barking and Dagenham.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, East Area Commander said: "If we come across blatant breaches of these rules, we may move quickly to enforcement action and this will certainly be the case with large gatherings, such as house parties and unlicensed music events.

"The police have a key part to play during this pandemic and officers are putting themselves at risk every day as we continue to respond and deal with all types of calls, so please follow the health advice and keep the pressure off the NHS at this critical time."

Council leader Jas Athwal said: "The vast majority of local people already do follow the rules, but there are a stubborn, selfish few who are making life even more difficult for the rest of us.

"Unless we truly understand that we are all in this together, we face more deaths, more tragedy, and an even longer battle for economic recovery. We all must please play our part to stop the spread and support the heroes and heroines of our NHS and emergency services as they put their lives on the line to support us."

If you spot a possible breach of coronavirus measures you can report it to the Met Police or to Redbridge Council's enforcement team.