Residents of Greenwich have been warned that now is not the time to be partying after a rise in the number of unlicensed music events, block parties and illegal gatherings.

Greenwich Council has issued a statement saying it is being extra vigilant of these types of events after a recent spike in south London and across the UK.

They say the risk of unlicensed, which are illegal and unsafe in usual circumstances, are made even worse by the risk posed by Covid-19, and the possible risk of a second wave.

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: "We understand this is a difficult time and people miss socialising with their loved ones, but these mass gatherings are not only illegal but they could lead to a second wave of infections.”

“During usual circumstances unlicensed music events are illegal and unsafe, but this is currently heightened as we’re still battling the coronavirus pandemic."

Dozens of street parties and illegal raves have been broken up by the Met Police and Kent Police in recent days, with a number popping up following the reopening of pubs, and the latest seeing events in Hackney and Richmond dispersed.

Last week police dispersed an unlicensed rave of over 200 people in Gravesend.

The Police Federation also issued a stark assessment of the situation, stating that "alcohol and social distancing does not mix."

Greenwich Council points out that these events are normally held without necessary legal permissions or safety precautions, and therefore pose a significant risk to those who attend.

They can also have a detrimental impact on the local community, and place a burden on police, councils and other public sector and emergency organisations which may be needed to deal with the fallouts.

Despite some relaxation of lockdown restrictions, social distancing is still in place, and if there is a concerning rise in the infection rate, the government may have re-impose some restrictions. "By acting responsibly and within the law, we can help avoid this."

You can report a suspected unlicensed music event to the police by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999. Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.