21 Oct Coronavirus: Nottingham students fined £40,000 for throwing house party in Tier 2 zone | UK News
Four students in Nottingham have been fined £10,000 each after throwing a party despite coronavirus restrictions, having told police that officers had “spoiled their fun”.
The group were caught by community protection officers on a patrol of the city, which is in Tier 2 restrictions where household mixing is banned indoors.
They spotted the revellers at a house in the Lenton area – known for its large student population.
When approached, the group – who all study at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) – claimed that everyone had left, but upon further inspection, officers found more than 30 people hiding in the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Nottinghamshire Police say the students said the officers were “spoiling their fun” – and that they should be having the “time of their lives”.
Nottingham, home to two universities, until last week had the highest COVID-19 infection rate in England, and talks are ongoing in the wider region to bring it into Tier 3 of the government’s coronavirus restrictions.
On Wednesday, NTU confirmed that the group had been suspended while an investigation into their behaviour gets under way.
“We know that the vast majority of our students respect the guidelines and advice,” said a spokesman.
“We will not tolerate any breaches, and where we have evidence of any breaches, we will always take immediate action under our disciplinary processes.”
In a separate incident, another NTU student was handed a £200 fine after they were caught at a party at a student accommodation block.
Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This needs to stop. The claims that police presented as a barrier to the students’ fun are astounding.
“How many fines do we have to give before the message is understood? We do not take pleasure in handing out fines and would much rather be in a situation where students could enjoy themselves, but the reality is that if people do not follow the COVID-19 restrictions, more people will die.
“The majority of students are following the rules but there obviously is a significant number of them who feel as though they can show blatant disregard for the safety of those around them.
“We have demonstrated that we will take action where necessary and I’d like to thank the community protection officers for spotting the party and engaging with the occupants at the house in Lenton last night.
“The students were given the opportunity for the situation to end with a warning but instead decided it was appropriate to lie to officers.”
Councillor David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, thanked the community protection officers for their work, adding the fines send out a strong message to those thinking of doing the same.
Nottingham has England’s second-highest coronavirus infection rate at 589.9 per 100,000 people.