London (CNN)Police in London shut down an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding with approximately 150 guests on Thursday. The organizer faces a £10,000 ($13,700) fine for breaking England's coronavirus lockdown, according to police.
Police shut down ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding with 150 guests amid London lockdown
Officers responded to reports of a large gathering at a school in north London on Thursday evening, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement Friday.
When they entered the facility in Stamford Hill, the statement said, they found hundreds of people packed together in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
Wedding ceremonies are only allowed to take place with up to six people present, according to the English government guidelines, and wedding receptions are banned under the ongoing national lockdown.
"This was a completely unacceptable breach of the law, which is very clearly in place to save lives and protect the NHS," Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett said in the statement.
"People across the country are making sacrifices by cancelling or postponing weddings and other celebrations and there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. "
Police said the school windows had been covered to stop people seeing inside, and many attendees "left as police arrived."
The Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, confirmed that the event took place at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls' School. The school didn't immediately respond to CNN's request for comment, but the BBC reported the school said its facilities had been leased out.
A spokesman for the school told the BBC: "We had no knowledge that the wedding was taking place."
He added: "We are absolutely horrified about last night's event and condemn it in the strongest possible terms."
Its former principal, Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, died in April last year after contracting coronavirus.
In addition to fining the event's organizer, police issued £200 ($274) fines to five other attendees.
"I am deeply disappointed that events of this nature are still happening in Stamford Hill, despite the very grave pandemic situation we find ourselves in, and the number of lives that have already been lost in the Charedi community and across the borough," Glanville said in the statem