The organisers of a party at the Pilgrims Lane traveller site could now face fines and possible eviction from the site as a result of their reckless and dangerous decision to invite more than 50 people to a party on the evening of Saturday 31 October.
Residents at the site had previously assured police officers that they had abandoned plans for the party when they were seen erecting a marquee on Friday afternoon. Instead they moved the marquee to a location where they hoped it wouldn't be spotted and pressed on with their scheme to host the illegal event.
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "This was not only reckless but those tenants at the site behaved in a duplicitous way to hold an event they knew to be dangerous and illegal.
"I can assure every resident that this is being taken extremely seriously and we will work with Essex Police to make sure that those involved in organising and attending this event face the full force of the law. That includes pursuing £10,000 fines against the organisers.
"Above and beyond this, work is now underway to possibly evict those involved in this event from the site. If they cannot be trusted to follow the rules and play their part in keeping the borough safe they should not have the advantage of social housing when we have a waiting list for these pitches.
"It beggars belief that just hours after learning that the country had to go into a second lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus anyone would go out of their way to hold a party and put themselves, their families and their community in danger.
"What is even more disgusting is they were given every opportunity to do the right thing and instead chose to behave in a stupid, thoughtless and dangerous way. We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour."