Mechelen police detain the organisers of 13 lockdown parties

Officers from the Mechelen-Willebroek Local Police Service have detained 18 people that organised a total of 13 lockdown parties in the space of just over a month. The members of the group organised two or three parties every week. The Mayor of Mechelen Alexander Vandersmissen (liberal) told VRT News that given the current situation “The party organisers’ behaviour is unacceptable. Public condemnation is appropriate here". 

On 1 January the Mechelen-Willebroek Local Police Service received reports of a lockdown party on the Zemstbaan in Mechelen.  Police officers caught five people that were contravening the measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus. A police spokesman told VRT News that “It was clear straight away that those at the party had done this before”.

Further investigation revealed that they had been involved in the organisation of 12 other parties since 25 November 2020. The parties took place in Zemst, Boortmeerbeek (Flemish Brabant), Rumst and Edegem (Antwerp Province). The age-range of those involved is between 20 and 51, although most of them are in their 20s.

They risk prison sentences of between 8 days and 3 months and fines of up to 4,000 euro. They will also have to pay court costs and if convicted they will have a criminal record. 

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