Belfers is proud to work in association with The Metropolitan Police to help safeguard our subscribers and uphold best practices across the industry. Please read their notice below regarding Unauthorised Music Events that are occurring in your area. If you suspect this kind of activity, please use the link provided. All reports made via this page will be picked up by the Police.
We wish to increase your awareness of a serious problem affecting individuals, communities and businesses within London and across the UK. This concerns much-publicised Unauthorised Music Events (UMEs) that have been taking place illegally throughout the pandemic.
Police have had to employ a range of tactics to both tackle and prevent reoccurring problems caused by these UMEs: noise disturbance, damaged property, drug use, drug dealing, theft, violence, and Covid transmission.
As a tri-borough command, geographically responsible for Westminster, RBKC and LBHF, we have seen a substantial increase in these events. They often take place within both private and commercial premises that seek to exploit a gap where nightclubs are currently unable to operate.
We take these events extremely seriously. Our investigations have found that the often-employed modus operandi is for individuals to target freeholders who are overseas and who are letting out their properties through a letting agent, offering to pay six months in advance. They choose this method as absent freeholders appear less likely to make checks on their properties and letting agents may only make relevant checks every three months and then only by prior appointment.
These individuals are then approached by an organiser asking to use such properties, with the UMEs being advertised as a “London Lockdown Party.” The attendees are asked to provide personal email addresses, denying Police and the Local Authority knowledge of the location of the planned event. It is only when the UME is actually taking place that the first notification to Police from neighbours or concerned members of the public will come. Police will then attend to disperse the gathering and issue appropriate fixed penalty notices to those found organising or attending. In many cases these venues are used repeatedly.
Working in partnership with the relevant local authority, Police will then apply to the court for a Closure Order on the property and, if granted, it will deny access to all parties including the freeholder and occupants for a period of three months extendable to six months, denying the freeholder any further income.
We ask that you be continually vigilant when letting out properties, vetting as best possible all references provided.
If you have the slightest suspicion of this kind of activity, we urge you to contact the local Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Team immediately, via the link provided below.