Fines issued after police break up illegal party in Unite House halls


By Megan Evans, News Subeditor

Footage from Avon and Somerset Police shows a large group of students gathering during lockdown in a University of Bristol halls of residence.

Officers from Avon and Somerset Police attended the incident at Unite House halls on Frogmore Street on 15 January where they dispersed those present.

Two 19-year-old males have been fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations, while most of the attendees fled without being stopped by police.

Body-cam footage from one police officer shows students mingling in their dozens before the party was broken up.

It is not known how much the two students were fined, however penalties can range from £200 to £6,400 for repeat offences.

The actions of the students involved have been condemned by the University. A University of Bristol spokesperson said they are ‘disappointed’ to hear of the lockdown breach, stating that ‘this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.

‘We will follow this up internally, and will take appropriate disciplinary action as necessary… As a University we will not hesitate to take action against those who disregard the rules.’

The spokesperson added that ‘the vast majority of our students have behaved impeccably since the start of the academic year’ in adherence with government guidelines.

Chief Inspector Justin French, in a statement from Avon and Somerset Police, described the events of the night as ‘reckless’ and ‘reprehensible.’

He went on however to acknowledge that ‘Most people are doing the right thing and staying at home. It's the actions of a few people who are ignoring or bending the rules which is putting everyone at risk.’

In an open letter issued to Bristol students yesterday Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees thanked students' efforts stop the spread of Covid-19 and help protect the Bristol community, recognising that ‘the vast majority of students have acted responsibly and compassionately by complying with government guidelines and local restrictions.’

Featured image: Avon and Somerset Police

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