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* Lansdown, 15 July: 'Breaking Covid rules'

(S040) Party at a student house in Lansdown Road on the night of 15 July, extending into the early hours next day.

I observed this at around midnight are receiving reports from residents. Loud beat music was playing at the back of the house, where there appeared to be a large group in the garden, judged by loud voices and shouting.

A group of about a dozen people were gathered on the street at the front of the house. One girl, clearly drunk, staggered away with the help of a friend and then crossed to the opposite side of the street and urinated on the pavement. The rest of this group drifted off in various directions leaving the street briefly empty. But over the next half hour, their place was taken by other groups, whether leaving or arriving.

Several residents have complained to UoB. (Updated 29/07/2020 with recently received complaint from another resident.)

Resident 1, who lives in Brighton Road, backing on to Lansdown, said: "The exceptionally loud music began at around 6.30 pm and after complaining about it, the music was turned down for a short period of time. However there was a considerable amount of noise from the property at around 10.00 pm where there was at least 20+ students gathering in the small back garden, drinking and shouting with no respect for the current Covid-19 social-distancing rules .... there were also people inside the house. I did register a complaint with 101 regarding noise and large gathering of people but I don't think that any action was taken."

(Email, 16 July 2020, 13:59, rb)

Resident 2 wrote: "It is now 10.30pm. A party at No [xx] which has been going most of the afternoon is getting considerably louder. I have just witnessed more people going in with bottles so doesn't look like finishing anytime soon. I am reliably informed by neighbours (also disturbed by the noise, and who went round earlier to plead for quiet) that they can see that there are well over 20 in the small garden & several more in the house, with no social distancing.

"This obviously does not comply with Covid regulations—there are clearly more than 2 households inside and and over 6 [people] from different households outside.

"I have phoned 101 who tell me that gatherings of up to 30 are allowed. The call handler declined to take any details, repeating that noise is not a police matter. And that the police do not enforce Covid breeches."

She says that after checking the coronavirus rules on the government website to confirm that gatherings of 30 people in private houses are not allowed, she rang 101 again. "Details have now been logged and attendance by a local patrol has been requested."

She says she is "seriously concerned about the public health risks posed by this student behaviour."

(Email, 15 July 2020, 23:10, fm)

Resident 3 wrote: "As there was music and noisy people on the street at 11.30am, I went to ask for the party to stop ... eventually one of the house tenants came out to talk. My request was met with explanations on why they were having a party: they were bored at home….., they understood it was annoying but…., it was a ‘student area’ so ….. it’s someone's birthday …..

"The students were polite, but the litany of familiar excuses is now tedious to hear. And it’s tedious to once again have to remind them they are disturbing residents, and should be following the good-neighbour guidelines issued by the university. I also reminded them they were breaking Covid19 social-distancing. ... It’s now 12.30am and students are still in the road talking loudly.

He said students at [xx] had woken him several times "over the past couple of weeks" because they were very noisy when returning home in the middle of the night. "I haven’t reported those kinds of incidents, but the party tonight shows that they were just a prelude."

(Email to me, 16 July 2020, 13:27, dc)

Resident 4 said: "There is a very, very loud student party in full swing on Lansdown Road. There are at least 30 people in the back garden and more in the house. The music is so loud I can hear it all the way in my front room with all the windows closed.

(Email to me, 15 July 2020, 21:34, a)

In an email next day she added: "I couldn't sleep in my bedroom, which backs out onto the gardens. So I put in ear plugs and slept in my front room. I will be emailing UOB and making a complaint."

(Email to me, 16 July 2020, 08:51, a)

Resident 5 said: "The party has finally broken up at 12.30. There must have been at least 30 people at it. I counted two groups of 12 walking down the street and another group, of 6 or so, went away in a taxi. They are utterly in breach of the Covid-19 arrangements. I reported it to 101 but only for the sake of recording it."

(Email, 16 July 2020, 00:39, hb)

(Updated, 18/07/2020) UoB's university police officer, PC Sian Harris, visited the property the day after the party in the company of the local beat sergeant to offer the students "words of advice" about their behaviour and compliance with coronavirus regulations.

(Added, 29/07/2020) Another complaint about this incident has come to light:

Resident 6 said: "Night of Wednesday 15th July the said property held a party with music that was so loud I had to leave my bedroom to go sleep in my front room from 1 am ... There were at least 30 people in the back garden."

(Email, 28 July 2020, 09:17, as)


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