CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

160 at ‘Airbnb house party’ broken up by police

Holiday rental company says it has ‘zero tolerance’ policy

07 August, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Police at the Archway property in the early hours of Saturday

HOLIDAY rental company Airbnb says it is following a “zero tolerance” approach after police were forced to break up a 160-strong house party in Archway.

Police were called by fed-up neighbours who endured loud music and crowds in Tavistock Terrace until 3am on Saturday.

Footage shared online showed crowds gathered in the garden of the terraced house, with the neighbour who posted the video writing: “The people who came had no respect for the neighbours around them nor any respect for quarantine or social distancing rules.”

He added the home had been let out on Airbnb and said attendees “took advantage by holding a gigantic party that quickly got out of hand”.

A spokesman for Airbnb said the guests who had booked the house had been taken off its platform.

“We have zero tolerance for this behaviour. We are supporting the host and have offered to assist the police investigation,” he added. “All unauthorised events are banned on Airbnb, and we have prohibited gatherings that violate current public health mandates.”

No arrests were made, but police issued a closure notice for the property after being called to reports of a “large gathering of people playing loud music”.

A spokesman added: “Officers stayed on the scene while those attending began to disperse.”

Chief Superintendent Roy Smith had tweeted that there had been more than 150 people in “packed groups”, and thanked his “incredibly patient and tolerant police officers”.

The Tribune previously reported council leader Councillor Richard Watt’s concerns that Airbnb was not doing enough to clamp down on unlicensed events.

An Islington spokes­man said: “We are working hard to remind people of the current lockdown restrictions, and public protection teams are out in the borough during the day, evenings and weekends monitoring the situation.

“These teams have a direct link to the police, and are alert to warning signs that unlicensed music events may be taking place. Alongside the police, they work to disperse unlicensed music events and warn organisers that enforcement measures can be imposed if they happen again.”

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