This is what actually happens if you get a £10,000 house party fine

Don’t think my student loan will stretch that far

Uni house parties are a way of life – that is, until this year hit. Now, we have to distance from anyone we don’t live with, and can’t be in groups of more than six people. So yep, uni house parties are now illegal, and you can be fined £10,000 for hosting one.

This weekend, a Norwich house party cost its hosts £30,000, as three UEA students were fined £10k each. That party cost more than most people’s weddings, or your entire three-year degree. Last month, a Notts student was similarly fined £10,000 – so the threats are very real.

But what happens if you throw an illegal house party, get caught and slapped with the £10k fine? Do you actually have to pay it? (Spoiler alert: Yes.) And what happens if you don’t just have £10,000 lying around?

We found out what actually happens if you get a £10,000 fine for hosting a party:

When would you get the £10,000 fine?

Police officers have the power to issue £10,000 fines to the organisers of illegal gatherings, and £100 fines to those who attend them.

A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council told The Tab fines are a last resort, and if people comply with police requests to close the party down immediately then no one will be fined, unless they are repeat offenders.

Remember social distancing!

They said: “We will use enforcement where necessary. Mass gatherings are illegal and dangerous. We will work to prevent these taking place by engaging with the organisers, where this is possible.

“We would urge anyone thinking about attending a mass gathering to consider the risks you are creating for yourself, your family and others.”

What happens if you can’t pay it?

After three UEA students were fined this weekend, their SU called the fines “disproportionate” and “life-altering”. £10,000 is more than most people’s entire student loan, and I doubt many parents would be too happy to receive a “hi mum, I had an illegal house party, pls can I borrow £10k? xx” text – so what happens if you can’t pay the fine?

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “If you do not pay, either because you wish the appeal the fine in court or you simply choose not to, then you are likely to be summoned to a magistrates court.

“At court the details of the fine will be heard and a magistrate will decide if the fine should be upheld or not. The magistrate then has the power to impose an unlimited fine.”

Rule of six!!

If you can’t afford the fine, “the court can offer payment plans to suit a person’s income,” but if you don’t pay this the magistrate can again take further action.

Does the fine go on your criminal record?

The National Police Chiefs’ Council told The Tab the £10,000 house party fine is a fixed penalty notice, or FPN. They said: “A FPN that is paid would not result in a criminal record and the matter is closed when payment is received.”

However, if the fine is not paid and you are taken to magistrate’s court, where the magistrate has power to give you an unlimited fine if it is upheld, “this is likely to then result in a criminal record.”

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