UK University Students Accuse COVID Patrol Police Of Harassment

Students at some UK campuses have accused their universities of giving police officers access to halls of residence to monitor for breaches of coronavirus rules, with some complaints of police entering accommodation in the middle of the night.

Students at Sheffield and Manchester who spoke to a news outlet reported regular police patrols and widespread use of penalties of up to £800 to circumvent repeating the major coronavirus outbreaks that transpired in autumn, now students are returning for the spring term.

Students at Sheffield and Manchester say they think that in some cases police officers may have received keys from university security to enter flats unannounced to check that students were not socialising with their neighbours, however, the universities have denied this.

One first-year student living in Froggatt Halls, which is run by the University of Sheffield, said that police have been patrolling the area in which several halls of residence are located every weekend, with her flat visited three times in the last month.

She said the first time was at 1.30 am and she was in bed. The door had been left on the latch, so the police officer came in and was pretty aggressive.

She said that across the hall she could see another police officer chatting to a girl alone in her flat, asking how many people lived there, but she said it was an invasion of privacy.

A student at the University of Leeds said the police had been given access to his accommodation block at about 4 pm one day in mid-February and knocked when he was watching TV with his housemates.

He said the guy asked who was in his flat and that he was pretty forceful and said that he came into the kitchen and said we were all taking the p*ss and the university had called them in to tell them it was their last chance.

A student rent strike group at the University of Sussex tweeted that students should video police entering their flats on their phones and take their badge numbers, as well as asking the reasons for their entry after a group received several reports of heavy-handed policing.

Students at the University of Manchester published a report with the police monitoring network Netpol, saying that multiple police cars patrol the Fallowfield campus every weekend.

The students, who run a campaign called Cops Off Campus, have used legal observer training from the activist group Green and Black Cross to gather testimonies suggesting that unlawful searches of students properties have occurred on numerous occasions, usually under the guise of noise complaints, even when flats are quiet.

However, it’s not implausible to think that some party-loving students may think it’s a great laugh to shop a fellow student who goes to bed early, but it’s also not implausible to think that some party-loving students may socialise in each other’s flats rather than strictly remaining in their own.

The police aren’t supposed to come into your home at any hour of the night while you’re sleeping, especially if they don’t have a warrant – is this even legal? And why would you even want to stay at a university when you’re treated like this? Especially when you’re paying loads of money to be educated there – go abroad and leave this authoritarian stinking cesspit of a country – they’d probably be so much better off.

And there’s going to be a massive mental health pandemic in years to come because you can’t treat young people like their in a concentration camp and expect them to be okay about it.

Published by Angela Lloyd

My vision on life is pretty broad, therefore I like to address specific subjects that intrigue me. Therefore I really appreciate the world of politics, though I have no actual views on who I will vote for, that I will not tell you, so please do not ask! I am like an observation station when it comes to writing, and I simply take the news and make it my own. I have no expectations, I simply love to write, and I know this seems really odd, but I don't get paid for it, I really like what I do and since I am never under any pressure, I constantly find that I write much better, rather than being blanketed under masses of paperwork and articles that I am on a deadline to complete. The chances are, that whilst all other journalists are out there, ripping their hair out, attempting to get their articles completed, I'm simply rambling along at my convenience creating my perfect piece. I guess it must look pretty unpleasant to some of you that I work for nothing, perhaps even brutal. Perhaps I have an obvious disregard for authority, I have no idea, but I would sooner be working for myself, than under somebody else, excuse the pun! Small I maybe, but substantial I will become, eventually. My desk is the most chaotic mess, though surprisingly I know where everything is, and I think that I would be quite unsuited for a desk job. My views on matters vary and I am extremely open-minded to the stuff that I write about, but what I write about is the truth and getting it out there, because the people must be acquainted. Though I am quite entertained by what goes on in the world. My spotlight is mostly to do with politics, though I do write other material as well, but it's essentially politics that I am involved in, and I tend to concentrate my attention on that, however, information is essential. If you have information the possibilities are endless because you are only limited by your own imagination...

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