Four students have been fined £10,000 after the police were forced to break up a house party where 30 people were found hiding within the building.
Nottinghamshire Police said the students had told officers they were “spoiling their fun” by breaking up the event on the eve of tier 3 lockdown restrictions being introduced, with the young adults reportedly adding “we should be having the time of our lives”.
The four told officers that everyone had left the party when they arrived at the Lenton address — however attendees were discovered hidden in the upstairs bedrooms, kitchen and basement of the property.
Nottingham Trent University has since confirmed all those involved in the incident have been suspended pending an investigation.
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.”
Ms Meynell continued: “The students were given the opportunity for the situation to end with a warning, but instead decided it was appropriate to lie to officers.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and I urge those who are considering to host parties to think again.
“We will be working closely with Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham City Council to make sure that all breaches of Covid legislation are attended and dealt with appropriately.”
In a statement, the university said they had been notified by police on Wednesday that fines had been imposed.
The statement read: “On receipt of that notification we immediately launched an investigation, and each student has been suspended pending the outcome of our investigation.
“Any student who is found to have breached our disciplinary regulations can face a range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion.
“We have repeatedly made clear to all students that they, like everyone, have a crucial role to play in limiting the spread of this virus.
“We will not tolerate any breaches, and where we have evidence of any breaches, we will always take immediate action under our disciplinary processes.”
Additional reporting by agencies