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Bristol students fined for lockdown-breaching parties

Police broke up a number of parties and gatherings in Bristol this weekend, including a house party of over 50 people.

By Megan Evans, News Subeditor

Police broke up a number of parties and gatherings in Bristol last weekend, including a house party of over 50 people.

Avon and Somerset Police have said that they were called to reports of over a dozen house parties in the area last weekend alone.

The largest of these gatherings – a party of over 50 people – took place on Tyndalls Park Road, a short distance from the University, where police issued 13 attendees fixed penalty notices of £800 each. Formal warnings were issued to six people involved.

Bodycam footage from Avon and Somerset Police shows the storming of the party, with police gathering attendees and seizing music equipment.

A person can be heard saying ‘get out police are here’, before A & S Police enter the property telling attendees ‘you are not going anywhere’ and instructing that those present turn off the music and present their ID.

Police also dispersed another party of 30 people on Ashgrove Road, with two fined, and a further ten people fined £200 each for involvement in a large gathering on Brighton Road.

In total, 47 fixed penalty notices were issued by Avon and Somerset Police over the weekend.

Speaking out on the parties broken up, a University of Bristol spokesperson said: ‘We were disappointed to receive reports of gatherings this weekend involving students living in the Clifton area that breached COVID regulations.

‘The Police were involved and have issued fines. We are now following this up internally and will take appropriate disciplinary action as necessary.’

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Commenting on the behaviour of students involved, the University spokesperson said: ‘This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, particularly as we have regularly reminded students of the importance of adhering to the guidelines and the risks associated with not doing so.

‘As a University we will not hesitate to take action against those who disregard the rules.’

The majority of students are, however, continuing to follow lockdown rules, with Inspector Ruth Gawler commenting that it is a ‘selfish minority’ of people whose actions are ‘risking the lives … of their whole community.’

The University's spokesperson added: ‘It must be stressed that the vast majority of our students have behaved impeccably since the start of this academic year and have followed Government and University guidance around social distancing and keeping to their living circles.’

Insp. Gawler warned that people caught breaching lockdown will face ‘severe penalties.’

Anyone attending a gathering of 15 people or fewer can be fined £200, and those attending a party of over 15 people can be fined £800, with fines doubling for repeat offences.

Featured image: Avon and Somerset Police Twitter

What do you think about these parties breaching lockdown restrictions?