Shisha lounge in Goodmayes fined and closed for 20 days after fire extinguisher turned on police

A Goodmayes shisha lounge was ordered to shut down for 20 days after fire extinguishers were used on police officers trying to stop an illegal event.

Police and Redbridge council officers discovered 70 people at an event in The Basement Shisha Lounge on Goodmayes Road earlier this month.

Officers were barred from entering by hostile staff, who said it was a private party, and police said they were verbally abused and had a fire extinguisher used on them.

Back-up was requested to control the situation and one man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency officer.

The owner, Ajmal Ali of Neville Road in Forest Gate, was fined £1,000 and ordered to close his business from October 2 until noon October 28.

Redbridge council leader Jas Athwal said that, while “the vast majority” of businesses are obeying the rules, it was “concerning and disappointing” to see some were “trying their luck”.

He said: “The Shisha Lounge incident in particular was absolutely shocking and totally unacceptable.

“The owner showed a complete disregard for public safety and displayed just the type of selfish behaviour that will drive up our infection rate.

“Fortunately, thanks to our hard working enforcement officers and local police, we were able to temporarily shut down the business and issue a hefty fine.”

Mr Ali’s is one of around 20 Redbridge businesses to have been fined for breaking the new rules by the “4Es” taskforce.

Its name represents the fours “Es”: Engage, Encourage, Educate and, as a last resort, Enforcement.

Examples of things businesses have been fined for include staying open after the 10pm curfew, not using the Track and Trace system or failing to display NHS QR code posters.

Recently, police were forced to defend their decision to fine an Ilford Lane takeaway £1,000 for breaking curfew by four minutes.

Residents can report businesses that are not following the COVID-19 rules online here: https://my.redbridge.gov.uk/report/premises-not-in-compliance-with-coronavirus-legislation

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter