Woman fined £10,000 over city coronavirus protest
- Credit: Simon Parkin
A woman has been handed a £10,000 fine after being arrested as part of a demonstration held in Norwich against coronavirus restrictions.
High profile coronavirus sceptic Piers Corbyn was among the crowd of more than 100 people who took part in the protest at the Haymarket in Gentleman’s Walk on Thursday (September 24) during which protestors wielded placards and banners urging people to ‘Choose facts over fear’.
They also handed out leaflets claiming coronavirus is a hoax during the protest which is one of 27 being held in towns and cities across the UK in September.
Two people were arrested during the event, including a woman, 37, from the Norwich area, who refused to provide her details to police.
She was taken into custody at Wymondham and following enquiries later issued with the fixed penalty notice for contravening the ban on being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people.
Julie Wvendth, assistant chief constable, said it had been the first £10,000 fixed penalty notice issued in Norfolk as part of the new coronavirus measures and hoped it sent out a message that those who flouted the rules will be dealt with robustly if needed.
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She said: “There’s people in the community that have lost loved ones to coronavirus and to see people protesting in that way is unacceptable.”
Ms Wvendth said officers were still trying to engage with the public as well as educate and explain, but they would enforce the law by using tougher penalties where required.
It comes after new measures were brought in by the government earlier this month to try and tackle the rising number of daily positive Covid-19 cases.
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From September 14 the number of people who could attend social gatherings in England was cut to six with failure to stick to the new rules meaning a £100 fine, which would double with every subsequent offence up to £3,200.
Further restrictions, including pubs, bars and restaurants closing at 10pm, have come into force this week as it was advised the UK’s Covid alert level was raised from three to four.
• A 25-year-old man from the Norwich area arrested at the scene on suspicion of common assault after coughing at a woman has since been charged with the offence and will appear at Norwich Magistrates Court on Monday, November 23.
Three other people at the gathering were reported for the offence of organising or facilitating a gathering of more than 30 people, in breach of the Health Protection Regulations.