Officers break up uni accommodation party in flagrant Covid breach

Our Operational Support Unit has had a busy night responding to reports of several Covid restriction breaches across the force area.

We’ve issued around 50 Fixed Penalty Notices after we were called to a party at student accommodation in Lower Loveday Street, Birmingham just after midnight. Party-goers had travelled from as far away as Newcastle, Nottingham and London to attend the blatant breach of lockdown rules.

You can view footage here.

An officer was assaulted as one student made off, but we’ll be looking at CCTV to identify him. The officer was not hurt, but we take the safety of our officers very seriously.

We will also be working with the university to identify the organiser and help them improve their security to prevent further breaches.

Inspector Steve Barnes was in charge of last night’s operation. He said: “We understand that young people are frustrated at not being able to enjoy themselves and I do feel their pain, but we have to stick to the rules so that we can get back to some sort of normality sooner rather than later.

“People are dying and we have to prevent the spread of this virus.

“We hear the criticism that some are saying about our actions to police restrictions and, we more than anyone, want to concentrate on catching criminals, so my message is clear – stick to the rules and let us do our job of protecting communities and solving crime.”

Officers went to 32 Covid breach incidents overnight and a total of 58 £200 fines were issued along with five £1000 fines - usually issued to the organisers of gatherings, or breaches at restaurants/fast food outlets.

Earlier in the night a party was broken up on Soho Road where shop owners had set up a sound system and were eating and drinking.

There were around 20 people at a 30th birthday party at a house in Kingstanding and a couple of fast food outlets were serving beyond 11pm, but on general patrol officers found that restrictions were being adhered to.

Insp. Barnes added: “The vast majority of people are sticking to the rules and therefore helping to reduce the infection rate. Let us not be disheartened by the few who choose to do otherwise.”

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