More than 200 Warwick University students receive fines or warnings and 100 investigated for breaking coronavirus rules - The Leamington Observer

More than 200 Warwick University students receive fines or warnings and 100 investigated for breaking coronavirus rules

Leamington Editorial 30th Nov, 2020   0

MORE than 200 Warwick University students have received fines or warnings and a further 100 are being investigated for breaking coronavirus rules.

The actions are part of support and enforcement measures by the university, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police to ensure residents and students are kept safe during the pandemic.

The university is continuing to operate throughout lockdown, with a mixture of online teaching and face-to-face learning.

It is also offering its own test and trace services and says it has seen infection rates fall.

And students – a number who live off-campus in south Leamington and across the district – are being encouraged by government to remain in accommodation until the end of term.

The university says it is actively following up any reported breaches of coronavirus roles, with sanctions ranging from a £150 fine to temporary or permanent withdrawal from courses.

Any student who is found to have breached the law is also reported to the police, public health or border agency.

And Warwick District Council says it is playing its part by notifying landlords of nuisance and parties which are reported to take place in rented properties.

Warwickshire Police spokeswoman Debbie Tedds said: “We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and stopping the spread of this terrible virus.

“The vast majority of people across all ages are committed to doing the right thing and sticking to the rules, and we thank them for that. But where people do choose to disregard those rules and put others at risk by creating opportunities for transmission of the virus, we are taking action and there are consequences.

“We take all reports of breaches seriously, and where there are concerns that we can’t attend straight away we will follow up later. We work very closely with our colleagues at the university to share information where incidents have involved students, so that they can also take appropriate action.”

The university has funded street marshals to patrol around Leamington between Monday to Thursday from 5pm to the early hours of the morning.

They wear red jackets and provide pastoral care and protection to students while encouraging compliance with public health rules.

At the weekend, the street marshals are funded by Warwick District Council or the Police and Crime Commissioner with the aim of preventing problems from escalating.

But Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe stressed the importance of working together to keep everyone in the community safe.

She said: “We appreciate many students have had a very different experience this term and it is far from an ideal situation. But we must balance their needs for practical and wellbeing support alongside making sure that any instances of non-compliance are effectively managed.

By working alongside our university, police and district council colleagues, we’ve been able to do that.”

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