Police broke up a large illegal party at a University of Nottingham student halls of residence on Saturday night.
Investigations are ongoing, Nottinghamshire police said, after they dispersed the gathering of 200 young people in an outdoor courtyard at student halls in St Peter’s Street, Nottingham.
Police broke up several other parties in the county on Saturday night and issued 26 fines of £200 ($267) for breaking COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, which currently prohibit most social gatherings; however, they said that they didn’t want to stop people from having fun.
“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,” Detective Superintendent Andrew Gowan said in a statement.
He said that though most people are following current restrictions, many are not.
“It is deeply disappointing that so many others needed such an expensive reminder that the rules apply equally to everyone.”
National lockdown restrictions are currently in force across England. They are due to end on Dec. 2 when, if voted through Parliament, they will be superseded by increasingly unpopular curbs, this time in a tiering system that is tougher than the one that was in place before national rules were imposed.
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, like vast swathes of the country, are set to fall into the highest alert tier, Tier 3.
Also on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police arrested 150 people during anti-lockdown protests in central London.
The Met said the arrests were for offences including breaching lockdown rules, assaulting a police officer, and possession of drugs.
“Officers made a number of early interventions to prevent people from gathering and to urge people to go home. As part of this, coaches transporting protestors into the capital were intercepted and those who did not turn back and go home were either arrested or issued with fixed penalty notices,” the Met said in a statement.
The protest was organised by Save Our Rights UK (SORUK), a self-described grassroots movement concerned with issues including government imposed lockdowns, media bias and censorship, and potential mandates of vaccines.
Police had issued a statement on Friday saying that protests are not allowed under CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus regulations.
“The Met has a proud history of facilitating protest. However, our city is in a critical fight against COVID-19 and we cannot allow gatherings to jeopardise the progress and sacrifices our communities have made in fighting this virus,” Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said in the statement.
The Home Office said that protests are not exempt from the gathering ban.
“In these unprecedented circumstances, any gathering risks spreading the disease, leading to more deaths, so it is vital we all play our part in controlling the virus,” a spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.
Lily Zhou contributed to this report.