Portsmouth party in an Airbnb broken up by police as 19 people fined combined £15,200

A MAN had to be rescued from a roof last night after he tried to escape police who were breaking up a party involving at least 19 people.

Sunday, 31st January 2021, 2:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st January 2021, 6:03 pm

Officers were called to a house in St Chad’s Avenue, North End, to reports of a gathering.

Outraged neighbours said the ‘shameful’ party held in national lockdown would only keep people under restrictions for longer.

They reported seeing dozens of police cars lining the streets to break up the gathering at 10.20pm on Saturday.

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Police at a house on the corner of St Chad's Avenue and London Road in North End, Portsmouth, on January 30.

People who spoke to The News said it took around two hours for authorities to send everyone home.

Police said 19 men and women in their late teens to early 20s were fined £800 each after officers discovered the party in an Airbnb.

A neighbour said: ‘It was obvious from the way that they were dressed that those in attendance weren't heading out for some late night exercise.

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Police and firefighters in St Chad's Avenue in North End, Portsmouth, on January 30 responding to reports of a house party during lockdown. Neighbours said one man had to be rescued from a roof.

‘Many of the girls looked like they were dressed for a night in a nightclub.

‘Their parents need to hold themselves accountable - if they had done more to stop their kids heading out in the evening dressed the way they were, they wouldn't be waking up to the fines that will need paying.

‘It is this shameful behaviour that brought us to lockdown, and it is the attitude that will keep us here for far longer than is necessary.

‘If there are further deaths as an outcome, the blood of Portsmouth residents will be on their hands.’

Chief Inspector Rob Mitchell said: ‘This was a blatant breach of the Health Protection Regulations that are in force to keep people safe during the pandemic.

‘The people attending this party were putting themselves and their loved ones at risk from the virus. It’s actions like this that place increased and unnecessary pressure on the NHS.’

Another nearby resident added: ‘The vast majority of the attendees were peaceful and left without questioning.

‘A few were quite loud and therefore had to be detained and in one case carried away by around six police officers. One went to the roof of the property and a fire engine turned up, after around two hours since the first police car turned up, it was finally over.

‘It's just ridiculous how many resources were needed tonight due to some absolute fools breaking the rules, it's entirely not fair.’

A man, 27, from Portsmouth, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

Another man, also 27 and from Portsmouth, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

Both men remain in custody.

A third city man, 24, was arrested on suspicion of affray and using threatening, abusive words or behaviour but was later released with no further action. He has been reported for summons for an £800 penalty notice.

It comes after police were called to Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, at 2.50am on Friday where they found 25 students drinking and partying together.

All who attended were issued with £200 fines and the students have also been warned by the University of Portsmouth they could also be kicked off their courses.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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