A party organiser has been fined £10,000 after 50 people flocked to a student house party in defiance of Covid-19 guidelines.
Groups of up to five people at a time began arriving for the bash in a residential area of Nottingham on Friday night at around 7pm.
Despite warnings, they continued to party through the night and police have decided to hand the 19-year-old organiser a £10,000 fine, reports NottinghamLive.
Locals welcomed the decision and said it “sets an example” for others thinking of doing the same. Letting agent Angela Robins, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said: “I started counting them – it was another four then another three and I lost count at 20.
“It was a stream of people. They were going from the garden to the house. I am glad this fine has happened because they need to be taught a lesson. Explain that to your parents.
“This is needed to set an example. It is also about respecting the neighbourhood not just the lockdown.
“I grew up in this area and it getting worse and worse and when students say ‘it’s full of students (on this street)’ it’s rubbish. It does not give you the right to party at all hours.
“There are a lot of residents still here. I think this fine will shake them up.”
A reporter from NottinghamLive visited the scene of the party this weekend and found students who live at the property eating pizza in the garden.
One of them delivered an apology to neighbours.
The student, who did not wish to give his name, said: “It was meant to be a small gathering with mates and it got out of hand.
“We had invited 25 people and it was out in the garden and aimed to end at 11pm and we were trying to social distance but then people invited their mates and so on. It got out of hand and we are really sorry.”
It is not clear how they will pay the fine or if they will appeal against the penalty. The fine comes just days before new rules come in force whereby only six people can meet at any one time.
Assistant chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Steve Cooper, had earlier said officers were prepared to use “the full weight of the law” to prevent the spread of Covid-19 across the city and county.
It is understood community protection Officers from Nottingham City Council initially attended the house party but were met with ‘hostility’ and so police were called to assist.
Officers found around 50 people in the address who were all ordered to leave. If the party organiser fails to pay, or contests the fine, he will be summoned to appear before a court, police said.
ACC Cooper said: “We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.
“This party was a clear example of a householder who deliberately flouted the rules without a care for anyone else and as a result we have used the full powers we have to deal with this.
“Under current rules we can issue fines to anyone hosting gatherings of more than 30 people which can result in fines of up to £10,000.
“And now we are on the eve of rules becoming even tighter so there can be gatherings of no more than six.
“I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this.
“As we have demonstrated here we are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.”