Video report by ITV News Anglia's Kate Prout
Three students from the University of East Anglia have been fined £10,000 each for holding a house party attended by up to 100 guests.
Norfolk Police confirmed they were called to a house in Bowthorpe Road in Norwich, near the university campus, just after 1am on Sunday morning.
When they got there, they found up to 100 people inside.
Three women, one aged 19 and two aged 20, were all given the maximum £10,000 fine for "contravening the ban on being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people."
In a statement, a spokesperson for Norfolk Police reiterated the force "would not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law."
We all have a role to play in keeping our county safe and yesterday’s gathering was a blatant breach of the Health Protection Regulations.
"As a police force, we fully appreciate how difficult the past six months have been for the county and we are pleased that the vast of majority of people have played and continue to play their part, following the guidance and legislation helping to protect Norfolk and prevent the spread of Covid-19," a Norfolk Police spokesperson said.
"However, the infection rate is now rising rapidly across the country and we must carry on working together to keep everyone safe. We will all have a role to play in keeping our county safe going forward and we won’t hesitate to take action if needed as yesterday demonstrated.
"We will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce we will do so to protect our communities."
A spokesperson for the UEA confirmed that the university "fully support" the action taken by the police.
"We fully support the actions of the police. Students, like everyone else, have to adhere to the law and where there is a breach of the rules they should expect to face the same consequences as others in the community," the spokesperson said.
"We have issued regular reminders about following the rules to all students both on and off campus and in addition to the police action we will also be looking into this matter and taking appropriate action. In the vast majority of cases our students are behaving responsibly.”
The university's student union also said they condemned the actions of the students involved, but added that they believed the "life-altering fine of £10,000" was "disproportionate."
"We condemn the actions of the students who attended this party; it is not acceptable for anyone to flout government regulations and put the safety of others at risk," a spokesperson told ITV News Anglia.
"We understand that this is a difficult year for students as they’re not able to experience university life as they ordinarily would. However, these rules are in place to keep people safe, and students, like everyone else, have a responsibility to protect their local community.
"Students are not exempt from the law, but we believe the life-altering fine of £10,000 with no right of appeal for the hosts is disproportionate and would caution the university to bear this in mind during their own investigation."