As the New Academic Year is About to Start
NOTTINGHAM'S UNIVERSITIES & POLICE OUTLINE MEASURES TO SUPPORT NEW CORONAVIRUS REGULATIONS
Writing in the Nottingham Post, on Monday 14 September 2020 Community Reporter Gurjeet Nanrah posted a report outlining what Nottingham's universities and Nottinghamshire Police are putting in place to stop students from flouting the new coronavirus regulations.
What Nottingham universities and police are doing to stop students flouting coronavirus rules
Students could lose their university places in extreme circumstances were rules are broken
Fines, loss of tenancy agreements and expulsion from university in extreme cases are measures authorities are implementing to stop the spread of coronavirus as students return to Nottingham.
Today (September 14) sees the implementation of new rules as set out by the government which limits the numbers gathering in a social capacity to just six people at any one time.
Nottinghamshire Police has asked students to consider how they may be putting the lives of others in danger and will be working with Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council to ensure students in privately rented accommodation all receive letters reminding them of how they will be expected to behave.
Students at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the University of Nottingham are beginning to move into their term-time accommodation in September.
Nottinghamshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell, who is the gold lead on the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF), said: “The new rules are clear and we all have a personal responsibility for following them to help stop of the spread of a deadly virus.
“Police will continue to be in communities and engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the new regulations. We will disperse groups of over six and issue fines to those who refuse to comply.
“This is about us taking action for any breaches in any part of the city or county, not just with students. While we are working with the universities, this is a wider issue.
“In most situations, we are sure we can resolve breaches without having to issue a fine, but let’s be clear – if people deliberately flout the rules and put other people’s lives in danger we will not hesitate to issue fines.
"Those who choose to flout the rules and hold house parties will be dealt with."
Over the next two weeks more than 4,500 students are likely to take up residence in more residential areas including Lenton and Beeston.
Rules in place also include keeping noise levels to a minimum, not throwing house parties and not exhibiting anti-social behaviour.
All households in the area will receive a letter from the authorities and their universities reminding them of the powers in place to tackle antisocial behaviour and rule-breaking.
Nottingham City Council’s Community Protection Service works closely with both universities already and has powers to serve civil injunctions, closure orders where necessary.
Cllr David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We look forward to welcoming students back to our city – but it is important that they understand that we now live in a different world, where Covid-19 is present in our communities.
“The guidance is clear that everyone should maintain social distance, wear a face covering, wash hands and get a test if they have symptoms. This also now includes guidance on not meeting in social groups larger than six people.
"It’s a lot of responsibility to put on young people who are away from home for the first time, but we expect them to help keep our city safe."
Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Councillor Milan Radulovic (MBE)added: “Students play a big part in our local community, especially in Beeston and we don’t want the pandemic to stop this.
"This clear guidance on what is acceptable is a really positive step in making sure they act responsibly."
Universities also have the power, through student disciplinary codes, to stop those causing a nuisance in the community.
In a joint statement, the vice-chancellors from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, Professors Shearer West and Edward Peck, said: “Both of Nottingham’s universities welcome students to our city and invite them to be an integral part of the communities in which they live.
“This year we recognise that the coronavirus presents exceptional and individual challenges to every Nottingham citizen and that any incident of antisocial behaviour, such as not respecting the latest Government guidance on social distancing measures, has the potential to put lives at risk.
“All of our students will be required to sign and adhere to updated Codes of Conduct which include these guidelines.
"In the most serious of cases, students can find themselves removed from their accommodation, suspended from their course, and/or with a criminal record."