Police break up Birmingham student party which 'some guests travelled 200 miles for'
Some of the revellers attending an illegal student party in Birmingham travelled from up to 200 miles away, the police said.
Officers from West Midlands Police were forced to break up the gathering on Friday night, which breached the national lockdown rules.
A crowd of around 50 people was dispersed at the address in Lower Loveday Street, Birmingham, on Friday.
One police officer was assaulted as a guest fled the scene, but they were not injured.
#FINED | Dozens of people travelled from as far afield as #London and #Newscastle to a party last night at uni accommodation in #Birmingham.
We issued around 50 Fixed Penalty Notices in the blatant breach of lockdown rules.
More here 👉https://t.co/xKeo3Mhp72 pic.twitter.com/olIReuLtD6
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) January 23, 2021
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said the force had issued around 50 Fixed Penalty Notices for COVID breaches.
Revellers had reportedly travelled from as far away as Newcastle, Nottingham and London for the party.
The flats are private accommodation but predominantly used by students from Aston University and University College Birmingham.
Read more: Over £15,000 worth of fines issued as police break up east London rave
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.
Watch: Police injured breaking up 200-person party in Knightsbridge
“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 from West Midlands Police were said to have attended 32 Covid breach incidents on Saturday and a total of 58 £200 fines were issued along with five £1,000 fines.
The West Midlands is under an England-wide lockdown with people not allowed to leave home to meet others socially.
Inspector 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.”
On Thursday, the government said fines of £800 would be introduced in England this week for anyone attending a house party of more than 15 people.
At a No 10 news conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel said there remained a "small minority that refuse to do the right thing".
"To them my message is clear. If you don't follow rules then the police will enforce them," she said.
The new fines will double for each repeat offence to a maximum of £6,400.
But penalties of up to £10,000 for holding large illegal gatherings of more than 30 people will still only apply to the organisers, Patel said.
Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown