House parties are on the increase as students return to Cardiff

£30 Covid fines “not enough to stop us partying,” says student

Students in Cardiff say the £30 fine issued by police for breaking the Covid-19 lockdown rules, is “not enough to stop us partying”.

Over the weekend South Wales police issued 308 such fines, which is more than treble the number of three weeks previous.

One student, who prefers to remain anonymous, was caught in a social gathering on Sunday. He was given a fixed penalty notice of £30, if paid within two weeks. He says the fine won’t make any difference to his behaviour.

“You pay £30 on a weekend anyway, outside of lockdown, if you went to a pub or whatever, so it’s not enough to stop us partying”, he told CJS News.

The fine doubles for every subsequent offence, with a maximum penalty of £1,920. 

The student thinks the fines in England, which start on £200 and could increase to £6,400, would be more successful in preventing these house parties.

“When you hear of people in England having £800 fines, £30 is nothing really”, he said.

At least 61 of those fines were for gatherings in Cathays; a student populated area in Cardiff. This equates to nearly 20% of all fines in South Wales.

At least 61 fines were given out in Cathays over the weekend. Picture: Wales Online

However, another student living in the area says the police are turning a blind eye to the full extent of the problem.

“I genuinely do feel that the police are not going to bother in Cathays because if they stop one party, there’s possibly another hundred house parties they’re gonna have to stop” she said.

“If next door is having a party, we just think why don’t we just have a party too. It’s a domino effect,” she admits.

Becky Ricketts, the President of NUS Wales, says such behaviour does not represent the Union nor the University’s views.

“We don’t support anybody breaking the rules. We understand that students are going through a really difficult time at the moment, but that’s not an excuse,” she says.

But, with 351 new coronavirus cases recorded today and 10 more deaths, the Welsh Government’s message is that every individual has a responsibility to fight the virus.

Chris Weaver is a Labour Councilor for Cathays and, on one hand, the recent figures does not surprise him.

“I’ve noticed more students on the streets in the past week and have received more complaints,” he said.

But he does fears for the safety of the people living on his ward.

“It only takes one person to act irresponsibility to potentially put a member of our community’s life at risk,” he said.

“I worry for Cathays as it’s a densely populated area. 20,000 people live in a relatively small ward”.

He urges his residents to report any crimes they witness, in order to keep the city safe.

South Wales Police say that breaches cannot be tolerated and that they are working to “ensure those who breach the rules are met with enforcement action.”