There will be an increased police presence throughout Cambridge as young people break current Covid-19 social gathering guidelinesLouis ashworth

Young people in Cambridge were urged last Friday (09/10) to continue to follow the current Covid-19 guidelines.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary issued the plea in conjunction with Cambridgeshire County Council following a number of incidents over the weekend where young people were reported gathering in large groups in Parker’s Piece, Midsummer Common and Jesus Green.

According to a student, who wished to remain anonymous, there were about 60 people on Jesus Green when? very few of whom were following social distancing guidelines.

As a result, patrols have increased across the city to encourage young people, including students, to follow the rule of six.

Superintendent James Sutherland, area commander for the south of Cambridgeshire, said: “Our message throughout this pandemic remains the same that this is about personal responsibility.

“While the majority of people are acting responsibly, there are a few who are choosing to ignore the guidance and causing disruption for the local community.”

He continued: “The rules are very clear that no more than six people can be together inside or outside and we urge everyone, for the sake of the health of their families and friends, to continue to follow the law.”

Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Liz Robin added: “We know how much young people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown and that many are concerned by its effect on their education, job prospects and social life, as well as their mental health and well-being.

“Unfortunately, if young people don’t follow the Covid-19 rules this will result in the virus spreading more quickly in our area – increasing the risk of a local lockdown which would make the impact of the pandemic on young people even worse.”

Senior Tutors across the University were contacted to pass on the message directly to students, warning them that police patrols would be increasing.

Some colleges have already been dealing with gatherings which breach the ‘rule of six’ within college grounds. For example,Varsity is aware that King’s had two “illegal gathering(s)” in the space of a few days last week.

The second of these gatherings had a total of 15 attendees one of whom has since tested positive for Covid-19 while two students have developed symptoms. All other attendees of the gathering are currently self-isolating.

The Senior Tutor wrote to students at King’s in an email saying “we are appalled that this has happened in spite of the repeated messaging you have received about the regulations you must follow while living in College accommodation.”

The email continued “students belonging to the households of the students with COVID symptoms will now potentially have to face 15 days of self-isolation through no fault of their own.” It also highlighted that “a further 23 students are now required to support all of those in self-isolation.”

Students at Murray Edwards received a similar email from their Senior Tutor in which concerns were expressed about “reports that large groups of people from different households have been mixing in household common spaces and in each other’s rooms in College addition to this, large gatherings have been taking place outside with no social distancing being observed.”

Such activity was described as “entirely unacceptable, dangerous and irresponsible.”

This was especially disappointing considering “the efforts made by the College to establish social space outdoors and to complete the work on alternative indoor social spaces for households.”


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At Homerton students were cautioned for “the events taking place in the marquee late on Friday night (09/10)” which were “followed by numerous incidents in rooms and corridors on Saturday (10/10).”

Large gatherings, students were told, were “not just against college rules but actually ILLEGAL...and we are lucky that no-one called the police.”

The increased police presence around Cambridge comes amid growing concerns about an acceleration in the spread of Covid-19, with university towns across the country experiencing rising numbers of cases and students being forced to self-isolate en-masse.