Police break up 400-person wedding party at Stamford Hill Charedi school
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Police break up 400-person wedding party at Stamford Hill Charedi school

Police condemn gathering as a 'completely unacceptable breach of the law' and insist they will 'not hesitate to take enforcement action' in the future

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Police were forced to break up a 400-person Charedi wedding on Thursday, with organisers facing a £10,000 fine.

The wedding party took place at Stamford Hill’s Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School, with reports of guests fleeing the event as authorities arrived.

Police reported that the group had gathered at school with the building’s windows covered to stop people seeing inside.

The organiser of the event will be reported for consideration of a £10,000 fine while five other attendees were issued with £200 fixed penalty notices.

In a statement to Jewish News, Yesodey HaTorah School said: “We are absolutely horrified about last night’s event and condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

“We lease our hall to an external organisation which manages all lettings and, as such, we had no knowledge that the wedding was taking place.  We have terminated the agreement with immediate effect.

“We are investigating how this shocking breach has happened and have no plans to re-lease the premises to any third party. We deplore the actions of anyone in any community breaking the law and risking people’s lives in this way.”

The President of the Board of Deputies and Chief Rabbi Mirvis also condemned the gathering. Read more here. 

This comes amid soaring cases of coronavirus with almost 95,000 deaths across the country since the start of the pandemic.  During the third national lockdown, gatherings such as weddings have been banned.

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, Central East BCU Commander, said: “This was a completely unacceptable breach of the law”, adding that “people across the country are making sacrifices by cancelling or postponing weddings and other celebrations and there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. My officers are working tirelessly with the community and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action if that is required to keep people safe.”

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said he was “deeply disappointed that events of this nature are still happening in Stamford Hill, despite the very grave pandemic situation we find ourselves in, and the number of lives that have already been lost in the Charedi community and across the borough.

“We support the police in taking such rapid and firm action. We had already written to venues including this school reminding them of the regulations and are shocked that they are continuing to breach them. Whilst we appreciate the central role that weddings play in the life of all our communities the current regulations are there to protect everyone.

“We will be meeting with the Rabbinate and our community partners over the coming days to see how we can prevent further incidents of this nature.”

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