POLICE Officers investigating an unlicensed music event which caused damage to a church in East Horndon have released images of more than 130 people suspected of attending who we want to identify.
Hundreds of people attended the event at the All Saints Church which was a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations.
Damage was caused to the church and the officers who responded to it reported having objects thrown at them.
We are now releasing images of 133 people we want to identify in connection with attendance at the event.
You can view the images on our website: www.essex.police.uk/ume
Chief Inspector Ant Alcock, District Commander for Brentwood and Epping Forest, said: “Issuing these images is an unusual step but it highlights the seriousness of the incident and public health threat it posed.
“At the time this event took place Essex was under Tier 4 regulations, infections were rising quickly, a ‘major incident’ had been declared here because of the pressure on our NHS, and nationally there were around 50,000 positive tests a day.
“This event wasn’t just a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations but a very real public health risk as well as a slap in the face to all those making sacrifices to do the right thing.
“At a time where doctors and nurses were under extreme pressure trying to save lives and people all over the county were spending Christmas away from their loved ones, those who attended the event acted selfishly, putting themselves and their families health at risk.
“Added to that is the damage they caused to the church itself – at Christmas too.
“You cannot come to Essex and do that, we will not tolerate it.
“If you attended the event or recognise any of those pictured, now is the time to do the right thing.”
Anyone who attended the event would receive a fine.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the event and another, a 32 year-old man from Wickford, was given a £10,000 fine after admitting being an organiser.
As well as dealing with clear and blatant breaches, our officers continue to help people, keep people safe, and catch criminals.
We will continue to take a common sense approach to the Government’s regulations and officers will continue to use their discretion.
Our approach has been, and continues to be, to engage with people, explain the rules, and encourage them to do the right thing.
Where reasoned conversation has not been successful we will consider enforcement action.
We will also continue to respond to reports of clear and blatant breaches and where they occur we will work with our partners to resolve them.
You can report a Covid-19 breach on our website by using our digital 101 service, where you can speak to one of our operators via Live Chat, any day between 7am and 11pm.