Fire extinguishers used on police at Goodmayes shisha lounge as they tried to stop illegal party

The Basement Shisha Lounge is in Goodmayes Road. Picture: Google Streetview

The Basement Shisha Lounge is in Goodmayes Road. Picture: Google Streetview - Credit: Archant

A Goodmayes shisha lounge was ordered to shut down for 20 days after fire extinguishers were used on police officers trying to stop an illegal event.

Police and Redbridge Council officers discovered 70 people at an event in The Basement Shisha Lounge, Goodmayes Road earlier this month.

Officers were barred from entering by hostile staff, who said it was a private party. Police said they were verbally abused and had a fire extinguisher used on them.

Back-up was requested to control the situation and one man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency officer.

The owner, Ajmal Ali of Neville Road in Forest Gate, was fined £1,000 and ordered to close his business from October 2 until noon today (October 28).

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal said that while “the vast majority” of businesses are obeying the rules, it was “concerning and disappointing” to see some were “trying their luck”.

He said: “The Shisha Lounge incident in particular was absolutely shocking and totally unacceptable.

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“The owner showed a complete disregard for public safety and displayed just the type of selfish behaviour that will drive up our infection rate.

“Fortunately, thanks to our hardworking enforcement officers and local police, we were able to temporarily shut down the business and issue a hefty fine.”

The business is one of around 20 in Redbridge to have been fined by the “4Es” taskforce.

Its name represents the fours “Es”: Engage, Encourage, Educate and, as a last resort, Enforcement.

The taskforce has already issued fines to the tune of approximately £20,000.

Examples of things businesses have been fined for include staying open after the 10pm curfew, not using the Track and Trace system or failing to display NHS QR code posters. These premises have included fast food restaurants, barbers and beauticians in Woodford, Clayhall, Ilford and Seven Kings.

Ch Insp Kevin Weeden said: “The multi-agency taskforce is an important factor in tackling key issues which are affecting our local communities. I would urge our communities to work together with all agencies to drive down any opportunities for infection to spread.

“Police are operating a stepped approach of engagement and enforcement in responding to breaches. Where we have evidence and warnings are dismissed, the police will issue fines and seek to prosecute those who are clearly intent on breaching the rules and risking the wellbeing and safety of our residents.”

Residents can report businesses that are not following the Covid-19 rules online here.