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Police fine more than 300 people for ignoring lockdown rules

PUBLISHED: 18:27 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 16 May 2020

Police give out fines to people in Wells for not following coronavirus lockdown rules. Picture: Archant

Police give out fines to people in Wells for not following coronavirus lockdown rules. Picture: Archant

Archant

Police in Norfolk have so far handed out more than 300 fines to those flouting lockdown restrictions.

A police officer pictured patrolling Eaton park, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA police officer pictured patrolling Eaton park, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Officers in the county’s police force fined 320 people between March 27 and May 11 for breaches of lockdown laws amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It means 77 more members of the public have been penalised since April 30, by which point 243 people in the county had been served with fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

The latest Norfolk figure of 320 fines compares to 906 recorded by Metropolitan Police, the highest amount among England and Wales’ 43 regional police forces.

They are followed by Thames Valley Police, with 866, and North Yorkshire, with 843, while Warwickshire officers have issued the fewest, with just 31.

Police patrol Great Yarmouth's quiet seafront during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice patrol Great Yarmouth's quiet seafront during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Across England and Wales more than 14,000 fines have been issued for flouting COVID-19 lockdown rules, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the NPCC, said: “The vast majority of people continue to do the right thing. The figures show our approach is proportionate, with just 0.02pc of the population in England and Wales being issued with a fine.

“I want to thank people for continuing to follow the regulations - I recognise it’s not easy and that this is a challenging time for us all.

“Our approach - engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce - will continue. I urge the public to keep going, keep following the advice.

PC Tash Snelling during a patrol of Eaton Park, Norwich, as police ensure people are social distancing properly amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPC Tash Snelling during a patrol of Eaton Park, Norwich, as police ensure people are social distancing properly amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Officers are working hard to keep us all safe from the full range of crimes in what remain challenging circumstances so we would ask everyone to work with us and remember that if you need our help we are here for you.”

Data released on Friday (May 15) shows 13,445 FPNs have been recorded by forces in England for the period, and another 799 issued in Wales - a total of 14,244.

The fines were all handed out before lockdown regulations were relaxed in England from Wednesday, with penalties set at £60, reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks.

FPNs are doubled for each repeat offence up to a £960 maximum.

Police on patrol in Eaton Park, Norwich, during COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMANPolice on patrol in Eaton Park, Norwich, during COVID-19 lockdown. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Following publication of the government’s latest guidance, higher fines of £50 can now be imposed in England, reducing to £100 if paid within 14 days and rising to a maximum of £3,200.


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