Student parties blamed as 200 Covid fines given out by West Midlands Police

More than 200 fines have been issued to people breaking Covid-19 rules across the West Midlands in one week, with student parties blamed as part of the problem.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said officers issued the fines between February 22 and 28.

It comes as he warned youngsters against falling into crime when schools return and reopen on Monday.

Mr Jamieson said: ""Between the February 22 and February 28, there were 1,899 directions to leave given out by the police and also 235 fixed penalty notices and no super fines.

"On the weekend of February 26 and February 27, police were called to 157 Covid-related breaches – so those figures are still remaining quite high and of those fixed penalty notices, 74 were handed out over that weekend.

"Student parties have been a problem – particularly in Birmingham University and Aston. About 38 officers were called to various incidents, mainly parties and other Covid-related non-compliance. That is a concern to us – there were fixed penalty notices and directions to leave handed out.

Battle

"And we're working closely with the universities in this particular battle, but I must stress that these matters should be matters largely for the universities to deal with and those people, who run halls of residence, many of who are private contractors, they should take responsibility to make sure students behave properly in a Covid-compliant way.

"The police should not be the first port of call. The police should only be there when there are serious breaches of the law and when they are needed where violence may take place."

Mr Jamieson added he was "very pleased" students would be returning to school but said West Midlands Police were aware of the risk that brought with it.

He said: "We're looking forward to children going back to school which is a good thing. I'm very pleased. But we're aware that there's a risk of incidents when you get large numbers of children going back and where a lot of children have been winding each other up on social media. and my fear is that, when they get together, there may be some outbreaks of violence and anti-social behaviour.

"The vast majority of children, of course, will not be be involved in anything like that."

Mr Jamieson added they were messaging parents and asking them to advise their children to stay away from big crowds of other youngsters, to avoid becoming either a victim or a perpetrator of crime.

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