Police in Facebook party-pooper bid

Police join Facebook to keep an eye on illegal Eiffel Tower instant drinks party which could pull in 10,000 people

PARIS police have signed up to internet site Facebook to try to stop the rash of illegal instant parties apéro-géants that have sprung up across the country.

One, planned for May 23 under the Eiffel Tower, has already seen 10,000 accept the invitation for a giant drinking session – and police warned the organisers they will break the law by holding a public event without letting the prefecture know in advance.

Renaud Vedel from the Paris Préfecture de Police told TF1 people could not simply organise an event for thousands without also thinking of their security – not only to make sure there was no trouble but, for instance, to help anyone who fell ill.

He said they had created their own account on Facebook to monitor what was going on.

Mr Vedel added that the right to assemble in the streets was a basic right but with rights come responsibilities and organisers had to be reminded of this. Anyone who organises such an event faces a six-month jail term and a fine of €7,500.

He said drinking alcohol was already banned in Paris parks and it is also expressly banned by the prefecture in the Champs de Mars and surrounding areas. Offenders face €1,500 fines

In recent weeks thousands have attended Facebook parties in Brest, Nantes, Rennes and Caen and events are planned for Carcassonne, Agen and Toulouse amongst others.

An event planned for Nîmes was banned by the prefect and the organiser cancelled one at Le Mans when the prefect spelled out the consequences.

Photo: HDR