Twitter gatecrashers destroy home: key lessons

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A family in Enderby, Leicestershire, is facing a bill of £3,500 to repair damage to their home, after a party was advertised at the house on Twitter, and 100 gatecrashers showed up.

So what happened, and how can you protect your home?


The worrying part of this story is that the party was not advertised by 16-year-old Brodie Norman, or any of her close friends. However, someone issued a general invitation to her property - giving the address - and invited them for the evening of 31 March. According to This Is Leicestershire, between 80 and 100 people showed up.

Her parents, Kevin and Lesley Norman, were out at the time. They returned to find food smeared all over their home, wardrobes emptied and clothes thrown everywhere, an antique chair smashed, and ornaments broken.

Mr Norman told the Daily Telegraph: "The trouble was caused by people who just turned up because someone put it out on Twitter. It was mayhem but my daughter and her friends were too scared to do anything."

This is Leicestershire said the parents had contacted the parents of those they believe were involved.

Protect your home

This isn't the first party to have led to disaster after being advertised on social media. We reported at the end of last year about the lottery winner's daughter who mentioned a party on Facebook, and had 200 gatecrashers.

Perhaps the most famous example was in Haren in Holland last October, when 3,000 showed up to a party advertised on Facebook, and when police intervened it led to riots and looting.

If your party is advertised online, then your insurer may well argue that you were inviting strangers into your home - and they may refuse to pay out for the damage - so prevention is the only solution.

The answer is simply that parties cannot be advertised on any social media site. Even a private invitation to friends or a casual mention of a party you are planning are not a good idea unless you want gatecrashers - because invitations are just too easy to forward on to everyone else. If you know someone well enough to invite them to a party, then you'll know them well enough to do it in person or by phone.

If the message leaks out somehow online, then you don't have a choice - you need to cancel the party. If you cancel the event and inform police, they will be on stand-by to turn any gatecrashers away.

You may think this is something you only need to worry about with older kids - but 'Project X' parties - where gatecrashing and destruction are planned by strangers - can happen at any age. In December last year a 14-year-old in Essex organised a party on Facebook, which caused £30,000 of damage to the family home.

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