Fines for breaking lockdown rules top 400 in Norfolk

One of the penalty notices the police can hand out to the public who are not following the rules of

One of the penalty notices the police can hand out to the public who are not following the rules of social distancing during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The number of people who have been fined for breaching lockdown restrictions in Norfolk now stands at more than 400, according to police figures.

Provisional data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) released on Thursday shows that 411 people in the county have been handed fixed penalty notices (FPNs) by officers during the coronavirus pandemic.

It represents a small jump of 43 since the last round of figures was released two weeks ago, when the total stood at 368.

The number of fines handed out in Suffolk stands at 259, while police in Cambridgeshire have dealt 134 FPNs in the same period – less than a third of the Norfolk total.

Elsewhere, the police force in North Yorkshire has overtaken the Metropolitan Police as the most prolific in England and Wales, having issued 1,082 fines to rule breakers.

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Nationally, a total of 17,997 fixed penalty notices (FPNs), including 15,715 in England and 2,282 in Wales, were recorded by forces up to June 8.

Some 1,526 tickets were issued in England since Covid-19 restrictions were first eased on May 13 with just 161 handed out from June 1, when groups of six people were allowed to meet outdoors.

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There were 523 fines in the latest two-week period between May 26 and June 8 – although the figure could be revised upwards as more fines are reported – compared to 1,171 in the previous fortnight and 4,796 in the two weeks before that.

The NPCC said fines have been handed to people for driving with others who are not members of their household, house parties, large gatherings and camping.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “Our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging continues to be successful. Since measures eased in England, the number of fines issued has seen a sustained fall.

“Behind each fine is a case where someone has failed to listen and do the right thing.”

READ MORE: ‘Life is not back to normal’: Police chief’s warning as high streets reopenPolice were given powers to break up gatherings and fine people for breaching restriction of movement rules under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, from March 27.

In England since May 13, the fines carry a penalty of £100 – reduced to £50 if it is paid within 14 days – with the fine doubled for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

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