Police break up parties at Edinburgh student halls

Police have been called to break up a number of parties at the University of Edinburgh's main halls of residence.

Officers said they had dispersed "numerous" groups on Friday night at Pollock Halls of Residence, which houses about 1,900 students.

Students in Scotland are being told not to go to pubs, parties or restaurants in an attempt to slow a spate of coronavirus outbreaks.

The university has been approached for comment.

It is understood that at least one of the blocks at the halls has been put into "lockdown" following a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Police Scotland said they had been called to Pollock Halls of Residence, on the edge of the Holyrood Park, after "informants" raised concerns the parties were breaching regulations that prevent more than one household mixing indoors.

Insp David Hughes told BBC Scotland: "Police Scotland attended and we've spoken to a number of the parties and dispersed those individuals. [Officers] provided education and advice as to what is and what isn't in line with current regulations.

"From a police perspective, we've been relatively well received there. We have had some people who were unhappy with the regulations – but more the laws that are in force currently rather than the police response.

Insp Hughes said officers had broken up a number of small parties of five to seven students with people who were "clearly not from the same household".

No arrests were made and no fines were issued, he said.

The officer added: "It must feel strange to people of that age and you can understand their frustrations in relation to the current regulations but overall the reason that that's there is to protect the health of the United Kingdom."

Cases of Covid-19 have surged in Scotland over the last two weeks, with 714 positive tests confirmed on Saturday.

Universities in Scotland pledged last week to make it "absolutely clear" to students that they should not be holding parties or socialising with people outside their accommodation.

One first-year student at Pollock Halls told the BBC there was a "pretty weird vibe" around the university.

"There's always police here now. It feels like we're being watched 24-7 which is a bit scary," she said.

"My friend's in Holland House and she said that the whole of the Holland House blocks had been locked down and there's been people patrolling to make sure that no-one's leaving."

Another first year said dozens of students were heading home rather than self-isolating in tRead More – Source

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