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500 Student COVID Disciplinaries handed out by University

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Over 500 student disciplinaries have been issued by Loughborough University so far this academic year, an investigation by Label has found.

Since the first campus ban issued on the 15th September, there have been 500 “minor” student disciplinaries related to COVID breaches – including “not wearing a face mask” in designated areas on “more than one occasion” or being “found in a property” where you are not the “permanent resident”.

According to a Loughborough University spokesperson, there have been “two major student disciplinaries” relating to COVID breaches. A major breach could be either “repeat minor offences”, or a “single act that is grossly reckless” in terms of spreading COVID-19.

The investigation by Label began as a result of the reports by Charnwood Police that 8 COVID-19 fines had been handed out following a party at Storer Road on the 7th February at £800 each. The police found 16 people at the party, but only half of them were given a fine – totalling £6,400.

The officers responded to a tip-off which they received at 1:45am – reports Leicestershire Live.

Label has found that the party was not hosted by a Loughborough student, however, the University has confirmed that “we believe some University students attended.” and that “Our investigations continue.”

Leicestershire Police have also handed out 889 ‘Fixed Penalty Notices’ (fines) since the 1st January, which is more than “all of 2020”.

Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “We continue to say thank you to all of the public who are complying with the rules and understand why they are in place. This is allowing us to continue to do other work tackling crime and getting some really good results. The bottom line is that we have had to step up our enforcement as the message was not getting through to the small minority who are continuing to ignore the rules.

“We also have to thank the public for helping us by reporting Covid breaches to us. In the last month, we received 2,480 calls relating to the pandemic. This is double the amount of calls we were receiving before this current lockdown. We need the public’s information to guide us and we have been clear as to what the consequences are.

“We are continuing to engage with the public but we are being more proactive in giving out the tickets where possible.

“We continue to share the public’s frustration that the small minority are still taking terrible risks.”

When speaking on the first ban issued in September, Loughborough University’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Taylor said: “Hopefully, they’ll have learnt their lesson, and hopefully it will say to other students that this is a great University to study, do sport, do all the things that make student life excellent – but at the end of the day they have to follow the rules.

“If you, for example, organise a house party that breaks those rules you will be a threat to the University’s COVID-secure campus and you will have to stay away from the campus for 14 days.

“If you breach those rules again you will not be able to come back to Loughborough University for the remainder of this academic year”

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