By Charlie Loran • 19 October 2020 • 20:41
ILLEGAL parties and mass gatherings in London are being dispersed by Traffic Wardens who have retrained as “Covid Marshals” for the duration of lockdown.
Nine illegal raves have been closed down by re-deployed traffic wardens in Barking and Dagenham alone, according to reports.
Official government guidance stresses that the role of the marshals is “not to enforce COVID-19 regulations, or have any enforcement powers, which should remain the remit of the police and designated local authority compliance and enforcement officers”.
But at least one team of Covid Marshals has closed down premises suspected of hosting illegal parties.
Club Kaafi Studio Lounge in Barking was ordered to temporarily close after the team checked it for compliance in September, reported the Evening Standard.
A rave attended by over 250 people in Broad Street, near Liverpool St. Station, was shut down by a team of Covid Marshals backed up by police. The DJ was forced to pack up their equipment and a number of people were also given parking tickets.
Council leader Darren Rodwell said, “We are trying to be as visionary as possible. Businesses profiteering or not abiding by the rules will not be tolerated. We have closed down nine premises and parties, which is more than any other borough.”
According to the BBC, only a few councils have so far decided to employ Covid Marshals. 70 per cent said they either had no marshals, no plans to introduce them or were waiting for further guidance from central government.
Most of the councils that are using Covid Marshals are redeploying existing staff rather than taking on new personnel.
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