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Tougher fines introduced to prevent unlicensed music events in Wales

Written by on 27th August 2020

The Welsh Government has moved to give the police greater powers to prevent unlicensed music events taking place in Wales, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced today.

Following discussions with the police and police and crime commissioners, Ministers are amending Coronavirus regulations to prohibit the organising of an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people. These are events that are not licensed or otherwise authorised under the Licensing Act 2003.

A breach of this prohibition will be an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine or, as an alternative to conviction, by a fixed penalty set at £10,000.

This provides police in Wales with broadly equivalent powers to those being introduced at the same time in England.

The police will still utilise the four Es approach of Engage, Explain, Encourage, Enforce in acting proportionately.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“Illegal gatherings put people’s health needlessly at risk. The changes to the regulations we are introducing give the police new powers to stop these events taking place.

“The unlimited fine or significant fixed penalty for organisers of these illegal events reflects the potentially serious public health consequences.

“Coronavirus has not gone away – we all have a shared and ongoing responsibility to keep Wales safe.”

The Welsh Government has not made any recent changes to the rules around gatherings in Wales.

People should not gather in groups of more than 30 people outdoors or meet with people outside of their household or extended household indoors.

It is therefore an offence to do otherwise without a reasonable excuse, such as the limited cases set out in the regulations.

The change in the regulations come into force tomorrow (Friday 28th August 2020).