A Nottinghamshire Police Press Release, dated Saturday 12 September 2020, reads ...

Reckless resident faces £10,000 fne for hosting large house party

Police in Nottinghamshire have shown just how prepared they are to use the full weight of the law in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus after issuing a £10,000 fixed penalty notice to a house party host.

A 19-year-old man has been issued with the hefty fine after he allowed more than 50 people to attend a party at his home on Harlaxton Drive, Lenton, yesterday (Friday) evening.

This comes just days before new rules come in force whereby only six people can meet at any one time.

Now officers are warning others thinking of hosting parties this weekend ahead of the changes to think again or face the consequences.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police said: “We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

“This party was a clear example of a householder who deliberately flouted the rules without a care for anyone else and as a result we have used the full powers we have to deal with this.

“Under current rules we can issue fines to anyone hosting gatherings of more than 30 people which can result in fines of up to £10,000. And now we are on the eve of rules becoming even tighter so there can be gatherings of no more than six.

“I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this. As we have demonstrated here we are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.”

Neighbours reported the house party to Nottinghamshire Police at around 10.20pm yesterday evening (Friday 11 September).

Community Protection Officers from Nottingham City Council initially attended but were met with hostility from the organiser and so police were called to assist.

Officers found around 50 people in the address who were all ordered to leave. The occupant was later issued with the fine. If he fails to pay or contests this fine he will appear before a court.

The law recently changed to allow forces to impose bigger fines in response to increased reports of unlawful gatherings and unlicensed music events which are putting people’s lives in danger due to the current pandemic.

Amy English, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for City Central, added:  "Residents have had fair warning that we won't tolerate people flouting the laws and regulations around the Coronavirus restrictions must be adhered to by everyone.

"In this case the resident also had the chance to shut the party down when they were first visited by our council colleagues.

"Despite blatantly breaching the regulations, there's no doubt in my mind that not everyone attending would have been social distancing which is irresponsible and puts everyone's health at risk.

"Throughout this pandemic the vast majority of local people have followed the advice and engaged really well with us. We have used enforcement only as a last resort and that will continue.

"We must take these incidents seriously, it puts everyone’s health at risk and we will be working closely with the council and any other relevant organisation to tackle any issues that may arise."

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “The police’s action last night sends a clear message that breaking the rules, especially in the context of a global pandemic, will not be tolerated and each organisation in partnership will take whatever steps we can to keep our communities safe.”

Anyone identified as breaching Covid-19 regulations by organising or allowing their property to be used in this way will be subject to action being taken by Nottinghamshire Police. This could include fines of up to £10,000.£10000-fine-hosting-large-house-party

Editor's Note:

My thanks to Kate (a long-suffering resident - like too many others - whose family’s peace and quiet and stability have been undermined for so long) for this news.

It follows on from pressure by residents in many and diverse forms on local MPs, Nottingham City councillors and officers, Public Health, Community Protection, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire’s Crime Commissioner, and at recent meetings with Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University. In all of these residents have said quite clearly that the only way in which to tackle the anti-social behaviour which is endemic in our studentified neighbourhoods, and so full of risk for everyone at this time when the coronavirus is very much part of our lives (and transmission is increasing) is to use the ‘nuclear deterrent’.

As much as our Community Protection officers try and help (and as the report shows, they were first on the scene), the bottom line is that it is the Police which have the legal power to deal with these incidents.

The area where the incident took place is in the heart of what was (and still should be) a highly desirable residential neighbourhood in Nottingham. It is now saddled with the label of ‘student area’ (as so many of our neighbourhoods are). Therefore, should it turn out that the party took place at an HMO occupied by students (and the supposition has to be that it was), then I would hope that whichever university the organiser and guests attend will remove him from his course immediately and send him home, and fine everyone else the maximum amount possible and put them on notice that one more breach and they will join him!

I sincerely hope that this will be picked up by the media and by the universities and broadcast widely so that students ‘get the message’.

And, as another National HMO Lobby member has mailed me:

The next few weeks will tell the tale though. If some kind of standard was set for behaviour then this could interrupt the pattern and set new rules. This means that when coronavirus is over!!! We could have some semblance of balance restored in HMO areas. That’s the hope!!

Amen to that!