Police raid parties and issue fines as students flout lockdown restrictions in Covid-hit Leicester
By Laura Murphy and Sarah Danquah
A student who was fined £800 for contravening lockdown laws and attending an illegal party says he doesn’t regret going to the party – he only regrets getting caught.
The 19-year-old student, who was visiting his girlfriend at DMU from his uni in London, was arrested by police after they broke up a huge party in student accommodation.
The incident happened on Saturday night (FEB27) at Inka Studios in Percy Road, near to the University of Leicester. There were more incidents nearer to DMU the previous night.
“We just wanted to be around people and didn’t really think about the virus,” admitted the 19-year-old student, who did not want to be named.
“The police turned up at 4 am and shut everything down. I’m not really around people so who could I really pass the virus on to? All the people that are vulnerable are currently being vaccinated anyway.
“If you’re willing to break the law, though, you should be able to face the consequences.”
‘Several illegal parties’
It was one of several illegal parties students held in the city last weekend, according to Leicestershire police. Leicester currently boasts the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the East Midlands.
Similar parties were broken up by police in student households in Dover Street, Marquis Street and Tudor Road, near DMU, on Friday night.
Police estimate more than 100 students had attended the parties and that 35 people were issued with £200 forced penalty fines.
The Friday night party seemed to start in one house and move to others, say neighbours, as the police attended and broke-up gatherings.
Harvey Mills, the director of Cloud Student, the company that owns the student property in this area, said calls were made to police and they attended promptly. Mr Mills called on DMU to crack down on students breaking restrictions.
Residents of Tudor Road were disgusted at the blatant disregard for the rules.
“Some of us have lost our jobs so it’s quite disturbing seeing all these people being inconsiderate and not caring about what is happening around them,” one resident said.
Another resident who witnessed the partying said students were being irresponsible. “Parties like these occupy the police at the weekend,” she said. “The police shouldn’t have to deal with students being inconsiderate.”
A police spokesperson said they will be patrolling the Tudor Road area to prevent other gatherings from happening.
Will it stop the gatherings? It might not. One student who ran from las weekend’s party and was not caught remains unrepentant.
“I wanted to have fun. I am tired of staying of indoors. I feel like Covid is never ending,” she said.
“I’d definitely go to a party again – not this week but probably next week.”
We asked DMU to comment on this, but they did not respond.