A Lincoln student has been fined £10,000 after police broke up a party attended by up to 100 people.
Lincolnshire Police were called to Viking House on Newland, which is managed by the University of Lincoln, during the evening of Friday, December 4.
Chief Superintendent Jon McAdam said when officers arrived they found a party “in full swing” and there were “at least 70 people, possibly up to 100”.
He said: “It seems the organiser had decided to ignore the rules and regulations set out by the COVID-19 legislation, which says that gatherings of more than 30 people are not allowed, and which are of course there to help stop the spread of the virus.
“As a result, we identified the organiser and issued the full £10,000 fine on-the-spot. This is of course means tested and only issued for the most serious of breaches, which this was.
“Our approach since the start of the pandemic in March has been to use our powers as a last resort and enforce as the final straw, but in a situation such as this, in a time now when it’s quite clear that everyone knows the rules, there was no way we could have done anything other than hand out the maximum penalty.
“I would say that I hope this acts as a warning to others but I don’t think I need to because most of our communities in Lincolnshire have so far complied with the rules. It’s only a small minority, as we’ve seen in this case, that have decided to completely ignore the regulations.
“Why those involved here thought that the rules, which are designed to keep people safe, don’t apply to them is beyond me.
“We will do everything in our power to make sure people follow the regulations and will continue to work with our partners to ensure that others are taking appropriate steps to encourage compliance.”
Lincolnshire is in tier 3 lockdown, the highest restrictions level, where social gatherings indoors are banned.
A University of Lincoln spokesperson said: “We regularly remind students about the importance of responsible behaviour and all of our students sign up to a community living pledge here at Lincoln.
“Overall, our students are responsible and the vast majority follow the rules and are concerned about their friends and the wider community’s safety.
“As a university we deplore the irresponsible behaviour of a small number of individuals.
“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and an internal investigation is ongoing and any necessary action will be taken once the investigation is completed.”