Police have voiced their disappointment after having to deal with more than 50 revellers overnight who were having parties in halls of residence – despite the on-going lockdown still being in place.
For the past three weeks there has been a lull in the number of parties that police have had to break up thanks to people following the rules.
But last night things once again got out of hand after the University of Nottingham’s security team was forced to call the police twice to two separate parties being carried out by students on campus. It is believed the revellers included other students from other nearby universities as well.
This led to 50 fines being handed out for the two events with many tried to flee or hide when they saw police arrive at the mass gatherings.
Officers were initially called to a report of more than 30 people having a party in the Lenton Abbey area.
When response teams attended just after 11.30pm yesterday (19 November), the gathering had dispersed but after a search, six people were found hiding in a room and were all issued with fines.
As officers were leaving, security informed them a large party was taking place in the University Park area.
Again, a number tried to escape but officers were able to round the revelers up and fined 44 students involved in this incident.
Amy English, Neighbourhood Inspector for the city area said: “It is disappointing to see this when there has been relatively little of this sort of activity since lockdown began.
“Again we will thank all those people who have been following the rules, which are the vast majority. But this shows that we still need to remind people of the need to understand that they still can’t have parties and that things have not eased just because we are nearing the end of lockdown. In fact we don’t yet know what measurements we may still be under in Nottingham as the lockdown lifts.
“We’ve been working closely with the University and security teams who have been taking extra measures to ensure students abide by the restrictions and contact us if there are any issues.
“As a result, we were quickly in attendance and able to identify lots of people who have now been held to account for contravening the coronavirus requirements.
“We believe lots of the students had travelled from other campuses in the city centre specifically to attend these parties so they must have been organised in advance.
“It’s a difficult time for everyone but the regulations are there for a reason and people who flout them put others at risk and increase the chances of further lockdowns.”
A University of Nottingham spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of students are following the rules and there are now just 32 cases of Covid-19 reported in a student population of 35,000.
“However, there is no excuse, we have been abundantly clear that where a minority breach Covid restrictions we will act, in unison with Nottinghamshire Police where necessary.
“It is vital for the safety of everyone in our community and city that we keep following the guidance and the law. In addition to the fixed penalties issued by police, the University will take disciplinary action.
“In the most serious cases, students will be fast-tracked to the highest levels of our process where suspension and exclusion are potential outcomes.”Security staff and police officers from the city neighbourhood team will be working together over the weekend and taking a robust approach towards any further issues.