Over 500 breaches of COVID-19 guidelines were reported during the first two weeks of October.
Later on, 12 October the government new safety measures were announced by the government to control the spread of the virus.
These reports led to 156 fines, including two (pounds)1 000 fines to two women who weren’t quarantining according to the laws in place, as reported by Northumbria Police.
Within the first 48 hours of the month, the police had made four arrests and issued 137 fines.
Northumbria Police Chief Superintendent Ged Noble mentioned a ‘significant increase’ in patrols and repercussions for those nor following local lockdown rules. In regards to this, the Newcastle and Northumbria Universities announced in late September the founding of more police patrols for neighbourhoods with a higher student population.
Ch Supt Noble stressed the importance of engaging, “explaining, and encouraging our public to comply with the regulations and the guidance.” However, he condemned the breaches and emphasised the importance of following the rules.
In response to the actions announced by the police, Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor Chris Day said: “[The students] are not lone wolves out there doing what they like, which is the impression that I am getting from some of our students,” as reported by The Chronicle.
Day also expressed concern for the behaviour with which the marshals were treating students, by “bursting in” on them.
In an anonymous survey done by The Courier, students expressed their opinion on safety measures. Some of the responses expressed frustration with guidelines being too complicated or poorly explained.
One of the answers described the measures as “house arrest” saying: “[The measures are] pointless and based upon no evidence. End house arrest and let us live without fear.”
Another student said: “Necessary or not, they’ve alienated [the] government and the state from the sensibilities of millions of otherwise common-sense abiding individuals. Never before have so many people looked upon a police officer with such avoidance and contempt.”
With the announcement on the 8 October of 1 600 new infections between Northumbrian and Newcastle Universities, fear increased for Newcastle being moved to Tier 3 with tighter restrictions. However, the government stated that the city would remain as Tier 2.
The ‘High’ risk level means that people are not allowed to meet anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors, but can meet outside as long as they maintain the ‘rule of six’.
Last modified: 18th October 2020