Attendees at a 300-person party in Midlothian have been slammed by for their “selfish and irresponsible” actions after the event was broken up by police.
Cops swooped on Kirkhill House, near Gorebridge, in the early hours of Sunday morning after reports of a breach of coronavirus legislation were made.
Officials said the party was being run as a “commercial event within a rented property” and are now considering whether to bring culpable and reckless conduct charges against the organisers.
Officers raided the property at 12.20am and dispersed all those present. A 29-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Around 12.20am on Sunday, August 30, 2020, officers attended reports of a large-scale party run as a commercial event within a rented property.
Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham criticised the attendees for going against medical advice and posing “significant potential health risks” to each other, as well as to the emergency services.
He said “Those attending this organised event showed a blatant disregard for the regulations in place to help save lives and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Further investigations are being carried out with a view to what other charges may be brought, including culpable and reckless conduct.
“Anyone attempting to hold such an event, or any party in clear breach of the law, should be aware they will be met with a robust response from Police Scotland.
“I cannot stress enough the serious risk to public health an event of this size poses not only to those present and anyone they come into contact with, but also the wider community and all those from the emergency services who attended.”
Local councillor Stephen Curran, chairman of Midlothian Police, Fire and Rescue Board, added that ignoring coronavirus restrictions risked the area being put into a local lockdown.
He said: “Those 300 or so people didn’t just put themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus, they put residents across Midlothian and beyond at risk.
“To call them selfish and irresponsible is an understatement. We realise it can be challenging following the guidance but if the majority of us can do it then so can they.
“We are working hard to avoid lockdowns like those happening in and around Glasgow but we need everyone to help keep Midlothian safe. So, please follow the guidance. It will save lives.”
During last weekend, Police Scotland officers responded to reports of around 300 house parties across the country, dispersed those attending and issued six fixed penalty notices.