Traffic wardens retrain as ‘Covid Marshals’ to close down raves in east London

Illegal parties and the mass gatherings in east London are being broken up by Traffic Wardens who has retrained as “Covid Marshals” for the duration of lockdown.

Nine illegal raves have been closed down by re-deployed traffic warned 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, reports the Evening Standard.

The Marshals visited the premises at 2am and while they were unable to gain access to make a full check they spotted at least a hundred people leaving the shish bar after hours.

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% 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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