Moment police called to 'house party' at locked-down university halls

Moment police officers break up fight between students during ‘house party’ at halls of residence under Covid lockdown at Manchester Metropolitan University

  • More than 1,500 at Manchester Met were asked not to leave flats and self-isolate
  • But a video shows police arriving at what appears to be a late-night gathering
  • Residents said youngsters were hosting party involving ‘at least 20 students’

This is the moment police were called to break up a fight between students at a ‘house party’ at a locked-down halls of residence.

More than 1,500 students at Manchester Met University were asked not to leave their flats and self-isolate after a coronavirus outbreak at its accommodation blocks.

The lockdown has sparked fury, with many teenagers and young adults facing the prospect of weeks away from loved ones, with unions demanding those ‘trapped in halls’ be allowed to return home and study online if they wish to do so. 

But a video shows police arriving at what appears to be a late-night gathering at the university’s Birley Halls of residence – one of those under lockdown.

This is the moment police were called to break up a fight between students at a ‘house party’ at a locked-down halls of residence

Union demands students ‘trapped in halls’ be allowed to return home from university 

Students ‘trapped in halls’ should be allowed to return home from university and study online if they wish to do so, unions have demanded. 

The National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) have called for urgent action from the Government as coronavirus outbreaks have hit university campuses across the UK.

Larissa Kennedy, NUS president, said students have been left struggling to access food and wellbeing resources, which she warned is needlessly risking lives.

It comes after Boris Johnson said students will be able to go home for Christmas – despite Covid-19 cases rising ‘quite rapidly’ among young people.

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Gavin Williamson suggested a shift to online learning could be applied in ‘specific cases’ to enable students to safely return home at the end of term to be with their families over the festive period.

But the education unions are calling for a move to online learning wherever possible – and they say students should be given a safe way to leave campus now if they want to.

Residents said the youngsters were hosting a house party involving ‘at least 20 students’ when a fight broke out at 4.30am this morning.

Stephen Andrew, 27, lives across the street from the university halls and filmed the moment police officers arrived.

The hospitality manager said: ‘Last night, there was quite a large number of students gathering, going on into the early hours of the morning.

‘There was a lot of fighting that broke out at about 4:30am, to the point where it was actually quite concerning to see.

‘There was at least sort of 20 students involved at the gathering, and about half a dozen were involved in the violence.

‘I was actually the one who called it in to the emergency services and the police turned up very quickly, literally before I’d even hung up the phone.

‘They responded with three vehicles and there were about seven or eight officers.

‘My flatmates and I hadn’t been in bed long but the amount of noise and commotion from across the road was enough to wake us up!’

Police officers can be seen breaking up the gathering of students at Birley Halls.

It comes less than a week after more than 1,500 students at MMU were told not to leave their accommodation and to self isolate for 14 days following a coronavirus outbreak on campus.

Last week, students at the Birley and Cambridge Halls went into lockdown following an outbreak of 127 Covid cases.

Students reportedly said they only found out when security staff at the gates told them they couldn’t leave, and a few days later they were told the lockdown was optional.

Larissa Kennedy, president of the National Union of Students, said many have been left struggling to access food and wellbeing resources, which she warned is needlessly risking lives. 

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Gavin Williamson suggested a shift to online learning could be applied in ‘specific cases’ to enable students to safely return home at the end of term to be with their families over the festive period.

But the education unions are calling for a move to online learning wherever possible – and they say students should be given a safe way to leave campus now if they want to.

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