University of Nottingham says any students breaching Covid rules will be ‘fast tracked’ to exclusion

The University of Nottingham has said students breaking Covid rules could be ‘fast-tracked’ to exclusion after police broke up a 200-strong party at a hall of residence.

A police investigation is ongoing after footage surfaced showing huge crowds dancing to loud music – before spilling out to the front of the halls to continue the party. 

Officers were called to St Peter’s Court in Radford, Nottingham, on Saturday night but police were unable to make any arrests as the revellers quickly dispersed.  

The university echoed the force’s words after they broke up the party, saying there was ‘no excuse’ for flouting the coronavirus regulations.

The city was forced into Tier 3 restrictions before the national lockdown after it was found to have one of the highest coronavirus case rates in the country.

Nottingham will be placed back into the highest level of restrictions once the tier system is reintroduced on Wednesday.

Investigations are ongoing into the incident, after officers were called to St Peter's Court in Radford, Nottingham, on Saturday night

Shocking footage showed huge crowds dancing to loud music before spilling out to the front of the halls to continue the party

Investigations are ongoing into the incident, after officers were called to St Peter’s Court in Radford, Nottingham, on Saturday night

Commenting on the party, a University of Nottingham spokeswoman said: ‘The overwhelming majority of students are following the rules and there are now just 16 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 concert 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.’

Police said partygoers across Nottinghamshire had their evenings ‘interrupted’ on Saturday, as officers tackled several illegal gatherings and issued multiple fines.

On Sunday, Detective Superintendent Andrew Gowan said: ‘The very last thing we want to be doing as police officers is to be punishing people for gathering together and having fun.

‘However, the current national restrictions are in place to protect the wider public from harm and we will keep enforcing them for as long as we need to.

As well as large crowds gathering mostly outside, many smaller parties were happening inside the student accommodation as well

Nottinghamshire Police said officers were unable to arrest anyone as the crowd dispersed when they arrived, but they were still investigating. Students flout social distancing as they party at Nottingham Uni

As well as large crowds gathering mostly outside, many smaller parties were happening inside the student accommodation as well

‘Whilst it is heartening that the vast majority of people clearly understand and are obeying the current restrictions, it is deeply disappointing that so many others needed such an expensive reminder that the rules apply equally to everyone.

‘We understand that this is a difficult time but there really are no excuses for this kind of behaviour where people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions in such large numbers.’ 

The force said in a statement: ‘Officers were called to a flat in Pilcher Gate, Nottingham, shortly before 10.30pm last night and issued £200 fixed penalty notices to 21 people found inside.

‘Investigations are ongoing to establish the identity of the organiser, who could face additional punishment.

‘Another large party was broken up shortly after midnight at an address in Corporation Oaks, St Ann’s and the organiser was issued with a summons to appear in court at a later date.’

Elsewhere in the county, officers issued another five £200 fixed penalty notices after responding to reports of a party in a field in Gonalston, near Lowdham, shortly after 9pm.

Investigations are under way to identify the organiser of the event, and a driver who crashed into a police car as they fled the scene.

Detective Superintendent Andrew Gowan said: ‘The very last thing we want to be doing as police officers is to be punishing people for gathering together and having fun.

Police officers were called to St Peter's Court halls of residence in Radford, Nottingham (pictured)

Police officers were called to St Peter’s Court halls of residence in Radford, Nottingham (pictured)

‘However, the current national restrictions are in place to protect the wider public from harm and we will keep enforcing them for as long as we need to.

‘Whilst it is heartening that the vast majority of people clearly understand and are obeying the current restrictions, it is deeply disappointing that so many others needed such an expensive reminder that the rules apply equally to everyone.

‘We understand that this is a difficult time but there really are no excuses for this kind of behaviour where people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions in such large numbers.’

Students across England are being tested next week as part of the government’s plan to allow them to return home between 3 and 9 December. 

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