Police target students after teen was fined £10,000 for throwing a house party

People gathering to enjoy the autumnal sunshine at the weekend Credit: PA

Police are carrying out patrols in student areas to ensure that people are following new rules, which come into force from today, restricting the number of people allowed to gather for social events.

It comes after a Nottingham student was fined £10,000 for throwing a 50-person house party on Friday (September 11).

19-year-old Stuart Hawk has apologised in a letter to neighbours for hosting the party at the house he shares with five other students in Harlaxton Drive, Lenton.

The student house in Harlaxton Drive which police attended and issued £10,000 fine Credit: BPM

The university student said it was meant to be a "small" garden party with 25 people, but about 50 showed up through the night. Residents described how groups of up to five arrived in taxis and by foot. They then reported the event and council community protection officers and police visited the property to issue the fine.

In his letter to neighbours, Mr Hawk said it was a "major lapse of judgement".


The letter reads:

"With two housemates turning 21 recently, we were hoping to have a celebration that stayed within the guidelines of the current covid-19 regulations, however it quickly became out of hand as more than the initial 25 invited friends arrived at our house.

"It was never our intention to disrupt your evening. It was a major lapse of judgement on our end given both the disturbance we caused as well as the current pandemic that is taking a toll on our society."


Today (September 14) sees the implementation of new government rules which limit the number of people who are allowed to gather in a social capacity to just six people at any one time. 

Nottinghamshire Police is working alongside the city's two universities to send out a clear message about everyone following the new rules. 

Police will continue to be in communities and engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the new regulations. We will disperse groups of over six and issue fines to those who refuse to comply... While we are working with the universities, this is a wider issue than just being about students... Those who choose to flout the rules and hold house parties will be dealt with.

Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell, Nottinghamshire Police

Over the next two weeks more than 4,500 students are likely to take up residence in some of the more densely populated parts of the city, including Lenton and the Arboretum areas.  The students are being encouraged to ensure they follow the new "rule of six" Covid-19 guidelines, while at the same time also being good neighbours to those living around them. 

All households in the area will receive a hand-delivered letter from the police, Nottingham City Council, Broxtowe Borough Council and two universities setting out the need to be good, considerate, members of the community. As always, this includes keeping noise levels to a minimum, not throwing house parties and not exhibiting anti-social behaviour. 

The letter also informs all residents, not just students, about the powers available to tackle antisocial behaviour, particularly house parties.  

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: "We look forward to welcoming students back to our city - but it is important that they understand that we now live in a different world, where Covid-19 is present in our communities. Everyone has a part to play to save lives and to stop the spread of this virus - and this includes students."

We value the contribution students make to our city. They help boost the economy by millions of pounds every year and the vast majority cause no issues at all. We simply ask our students and young people to be mindful of the communities in which they live, not just in stopping the spread of Covid, but in being good neighbours generally.

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council

  • What is the rule of six change?

The new rules state that only six people are allowed to gather both indoors and outdoors. People can be from different households and anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.

The new rule applies to people in private homes and also places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces

In England, children are counted as part of the six but, in Scotland it doesn't include children aged 12 and under. In Wales children aged 11 and under are also not included.

  • What are the exemptions to the rule?

The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

  • What's the penalty for breaking the rule?

People who ignore police could be fined £100 - doubling with each offence up to £3,200. Marshals will also be brought in to enforce social distancing in city centres.

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