TWO Coventry University students have each been fined £200 by police after Covid-19 rules were flouted at a late-night party in student accommodation.
Social media footage revealed up to 200 students in breach of social distancing guidelines at Arundel House in the city centre early on Tuesday morning.
West Midlands Police launched a joint investigation with Coventry university, and is continuing to work with other universities in the region to ensure students are as safe as possible.
Coventry University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Latham and Chief Superintendent Mike O’Hara of West Midlands Police issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying they were “appalled” by the scenes caught on video at the halls of residence.
West Midlands Police examined CCTV and said they would take action if it came light that this was a planned party. Organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people can be fined up to a maximum of £10,000. Anyone who attends a social gathering of more than six people can be fined £100, doubling up to a maximum of £3,200.
Coventry University said it will start disciplinary proceedings against any students identified by West Midlands Police or its own investigation.
The university’s Covid-19 code of conduct was distributed to students last week and included warnings about the disciplinary sanctions open to the university, including suspension or withdrawal from the university.
Nido, which runs the student accommodation, has said it has since closed some communal areas and increased security.
A Safer Students stall has been arranged between police and the private accommodation provider to reiterate Covid-19 regulations to students and the consequences should those regulations be flouted.
The joint statement read: “We understand and share the deep concern this has caused but it is our belief that the overwhelming majority of students are following the guidelines and doing everything they can to play their part in protecting our communities.
“There have been very few incidents of large scale Covid-19 breaches in Coventry to date; people have generally recognised the importance of the restrictions and behaved responsibly.
“Officers from West Midlands Police will be out on the streets reminding everyone of their duty to help slow the spread of the virus and not to congregate in large numbers. If they have to, officers will move people on and fines will be issued where appropriate.”