Police called and students threatened with suspension after flat parties in Pollock

The party did not disperse when asked by uni staff


Police were called to Pollock Halls on Tuesday night after reports of “a large gathering of people in the area” which did not disperse after intervention from university staff.

Freshers living in Pollock Halls and Kincaid’s Court were then threatened with suspension in an email from the uni after refusing requests by university staff to disperse from illegal flat parties.

This led to Police Scotland being called “on several occasions” to intervene to enforce social distancing laws. Only then did the party disperse.

The email sent to students living in Pollock Halls and Kincaid’s Court described hosting flat parties during the pandemic as “reckless and immature behaviour that puts the health and safety of others at risk and wastes police time”.

In Scotland, the current guidance states that people should not meet up in groups of more than six, and that these groups should not be made up of more than two households. Anyone found breaking these rules can be fined £60 by police – that can increase to £960 for repeat and serious offenders.

Furthermore, the law in Scotland was changed on Monday to make attending a party in student accommodation of more than 16 people a specific criminal offence. This gives police the power to enter student halls for the specific purpose of breaking up a flat party.

This follows a Nottingham student being fined £10,000 for hosting a party of over 50 people in a student house last week.

Police Scotland told The Edinburgh Tab: “Officers attended Holyrood Park Road in Edinburgh just after midnight on Tuesday, 15 September, following a report of a large gathering of people in the area. On police attendance, the group moved on and no further action was needed.”

A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “We are working hard to ensure all of our new and returning students are aware of the importance of following Scottish Government guidelines – both on and off campus – to reduce the spread of Covid-19. As well as our Student Code of Conduct, we have created a Good Citizen Guide, which sets out clear guidelines for our community during this time.

“Our on-site Residence Life team are regularly promoting Covid-19 safety messages and challenging any inappropriate behaviour. While the vast majority of our students are observing the rules, if a student is found to be intentionally or repeatedly failing to comply with safety measures, they will face appropriate action.”