Jail warning to tenants after action over Wolverhampton parties man

Housing association tenants have been warned they could face eviction or even jail if they break Covid rules - after court action was taken against a Wolverhampton man for repeatedly holding parties at his home.

Tenants could face prison if they break Covid rules after having civil injunctions handed to them, it was warned.

The news comes after a Wednesfield man in his 30s was given an injunction by Wolverhampton County Court which says he must comply with coronavirus restrictions after repeatedly holding house parties.

Wolverhampton Homes’ assistant director for housing, Darren Baggs, said other perpetrators putting others at risk will be given the same orders.

He said: “Civil injunctions allow us greater powers to deal with cases of anti-social behaviour. A breach of a civil injunction can lead to a council tenant losing their home, a hefty fine, and even imprisonment.

“Wolverhampton has seen one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK. The safety and wellbeing of our communities is our prime concern and we take breaches of Covid-19 regulations very seriously.

“We will consider similar civil injunction orders against perpetrators of anti-social behaviour who are also found to be ignoring government guidance and putting others at risk."

Working in partnership with West Midlands Police, Wolverhampton Homes gathered evidence dating back to November, showing that the tenant had been having regular parties at his home. The judge granted the order in January, which included a specific mention of Covid-19 regulations.

Protect

Superintendent Simon Inglis, from Wolverhampton Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “It was apparent from the start of this pandemic that we would need to work with all of our close partners and stakeholders if we were to protect those who work, visit and live in Wolverhampton from this dreadful virus.

"We fully support the activity undertaken by Wolverhampton Homes and will continue to work closely with them to gather intelligence and information that will, if needed, support further such civil injunctions, moving forward.

"We are still a long way off getting back to a state of normality, and our activity and enforcement will alter and adapt in line with behaviours seen in the community. Hopefully the need to seek such injunctions will be rare, but we are ready to support Wolverhampton Homes in their endeavours if the need arises."

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, added: "The only way we are going to stop the spread of Covid-19 is if we all stick to the rules. The vast majority of Wulfrunians have worked incredibly hard over the last few months, doing the right thing and making huge sacrifices along the way so that they adhere to the regulations.

“I am sure they will be pleased to see that action is being taken against others who, through their own thoughtlessness, are putting people’s lives at risk.”

A hearing will be held next month after West Midlands Police called for a review following an incident at the venue on December 5 last year.

Officers used angle grinders to cut their way in to break up a gathering and issue 19 on the spot fines to people inside.

The order expires after 12 months.

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