Reading University Vice Chancellor slams ‘selfish’ behaviour after three face £10,000 fines for organising house party

Published: 7 November 2020

Post Desk : The Vice Chancellor of Reading University has expressed his disbelief at the “selfish” behaviour of those involved in organising a house party near campus.

More than 50 people were found at the house party on Wednesday evening, hours before the introduction of new national lockdown measures.

Thames Valley Police attended the property and discovered loud music playing and many occupants who “appeared to be intoxicated”.

The police officers told the partygoers to leave the property and three residents who were believed to have organised the party were issued with £10,000 fines.

Professor Robert Van de Noort said that any students involved that were found to have broken the law would also face disciplinary proceedings from the university and even expulsion.

“I am deeply disappointed and ashamed to hear that Reading students may have been involved in a house party near our campus that not only breaches then existing Covid-19 restrictions but which took place on the evening before a national lockdown,” he said.

“I can hardly believe that anyone in these circumstances could behave in such a selfish way.

“If it turns out that students were involved, then not only do they deserve to face the full weight of the law, their actions will also be investigated under our disciplinary processes.

“If a student has been found to have broken the law and our own university rules, this can lead to sanctions ranging from fines to suspension or expulsion from the university.

“We simply will not tolerate behaviour that puts our whole community at risk.”

Chief Superintendent Rob France added: “We would rather not have to issue fines such as these, however in this case our officers encountered a blatant disregard for the rules that are in place and this party posed a clear risk of transmission of the virus within the Reading community.

“Not only do breaches of this kind put people at risk from a health perspective, but they put pressure on policing resources taking them away from people who may be in urgent need of help.”

Thames Valley Police said it would continue to work with communities on ensuring they understand the new regulations but said that those who “flagrantly” ignored the rules risked arrest.

“It is clear to us that the vast majority of the people in the Thames Valley are doing what they can to do the right thing and we continue to be hugely grateful to them for the sacrifices they are making to protect us all,” said Sup France.

“We are committed to working with our partners, businesses and the public to make our communities safer and help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”