Councillors have called for the prosecution of the organisers of a beach cookout event which critics claim turned into an “illegal” rave after hundreds of revellers attended it.
Photos from the party, hosted by Croydon-based jerk chicken restaurant Flavour Boss, show scores of young people descended on Greatstone beach, near Romney Marsh, Kent, flouting social distancing guidelines on Sunday afternoon.
Many families enjoying their days out were forced to leave the site early amid reports of casual drug use and noise complaints.
Kent Police confirmed a 29-year-old man from London was later arrested after four officers were injured responding to an “altercation” in a nearby car park at around 9pm.
Councillors are now calling for the organisers to face legal repercussions, claiming they held an unauthorised event against Government Covid-19 guidelines, which prohibit gatherings of more than 30 people without permission from the local authority and police.
David Wimble, an independent councillor representing New Romney Ward, told The Telegraph: “It is totally unorganised and you cannot police an event that is completely illegal.”
He claimed there was “no social distancing whatsoever and a lot of drugs were being taken, as there were pictures of nitrous oxide canisters and a big smell of cannabis on the day.”
“They should be prosecuted as it was a health and safety nightmare. If someone breaches an order they should be held to account.”
Cllr David Monk, leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council added the authority is “considering legal action”, as its waste crews worked on Monday morning to clean up the vast amounts of rubbish left on the beach.
The event was originally meant to be held at nearby Camber in East Sussex, but the plan was blocked by police, who said it had not been granted permission to go ahead.
Orette Williams, director of Flavour Boss, admitted the beach gathering got “a bit out of hand” in relation to social distancing, but denied the event was illegal and said the police knew it was taking place and were present “from the start”.
Organisers used a microphone to remind people to follow safety guidelines and have since offered to pay to clear up the beach.