Police Break up 200-Student Rave During COVID Lockdown

Police had to be called to break up a rave involving 200 students in breach of COVID-19 regulations which took place at university halls in the U.K..

The incident took place at St Peter's Court, University of Nottingham, in central England on Saturday night with officers saying that there was no excuse for the behavior of students. Police arrived on the scene to parties being held both outside the venue and smaller events inside, though no arrests were made as students dispersed upon their arrival.

Nottinghamshire Police said the rave was among several gatherings in the area that it had to break up and issue fines for. A spokesperson said: "Officers were called to flat in Pilcher Gate, Nottingham, shortly before 10.30pm last night and issued £200 ($266) fixed penalty notices to 21 people found inside.

"Investigations are ongoing to establish the identity of the organizer, who could face additional punishment. Another large party was broken up shortly after midnight at an address in Corporation Oaks, St Ann's and the organizer was issued with a summons to appear in court at a later date.

"Elsewhere in the county officers issued another five fixed penalty notices for £200 ($266) each after responding to reports of a party in a field in Gonalston (also in Nottinghamshire) shortly after 9pm.

Nottingham rave
Police had to break up the student rave during a national lockdown in England Snapchat

"Investigations are ongoing to identify the organizer of the event, and a driver who crashed into a police car as a fled the scene. Two people were also arrested at an address in Valley Road, Carlton, on suspicion of assaulting a police officer who had attended the scene of another illegal gathering shortly after 11.30pm. Investigations are also ongoing after officers dispersed a gathering of around 200 young people in an outdoor courtyard at a student halls of residence in St Peter's Street, Nottingham."

Detective Superintendent Andrew Gowan, of Nottinghamshire Police, said he was disappointed at the behavior of those who flouted regulations on gatherings and social distancing guidelines.

He said: "The very last thing we want to be doing as police officers is to be punishing people for gathering together and having fun. However, the current national restrictions are in place to protect the wider public from harm and we will keep enforcing them for as long as we need to. Whilst it is heartening that the vast majority of people clearly understand and are obeying the current restrictions, it is deeply disappointing that so many others needed such an expensive reminder that the rules apply equally to everyone.

"We understand that this is a difficult time but there really are no excuses for this kind of behavior where people are blatantly ignoring the restrictions in such large numbers."

The University of Nottingham has been contacted for comment. It comes as students across England are tested next week for COVID-19 as they are allowed to return home between December 3 and December 9 during the Christmas vacation.

Nottinghamshire is due to enter tier three restrictions when the national lockdown ends on December 2, which is the toughest possible tier. That means residents will not be able to engage in household mixing indoors or outdoors, with pubs and restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway.