Group of men playing football among 31 fines for Covid breaches

Wroxham were held to a draw in their opening game. Picture: Ally McGilvray

Wroxham were held to a draw in their opening game. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

A group of six men playing football together were among 31 people fined by police for breaking Covid-19 regulations over the weekend.

Norfolk Constabulary has revealed it dished out the separate fines to people breaching the lockdown rules on Saturday and Sunday - on top of 96 warnings.

Among those fined were six men in the Great Yarmouth area who had met on a recreation ground to play football together, while another man was fined for having five friends in his car - all from separate households.

While police have said repeatedly they will follow the four Es approach of engaging, educating and encouraging before enforcement, on occasions when people do not respond the constabulary has the power to issue on-the-spot fines during the pandemic.

And despite officers fining a couple who travelled to Horsey Gap to see the seals last week, further people visited the same spot from outside  the region over the weekend.

The constabulary confirmed a couple who had travelled from Hertfordshire and a father from Colchester were also among those fined for the same reason. 

A police spokesman said the fines were predominantly issued in coastal parts of the county, to people either mixing households or who had travelled lengthy distances to exercise.

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Temporary assistant chief constable Julie Wyvendth said: "We did see an increase in enforcement activity this weekend, particularly in our coastal areas.

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk C

Norfolk Police's assistant chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, Julie Wvendth. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

"I would reiterate the points I made last week; we are almost a year into this pandemic and the public are fully aware of what is expected of them and consequently our approach to enforcement must take this into account.

"We will always seek voluntary compliance in the first instance through our continued approach of engage, explain and encourage and every case will be assessed on its own merit. However, where this interaction fails and people continue to ignore rules, we will be left with no other option but to use the powers available to us.

"The overwhelming majority of people in Norfolk are making great sacrifices to adhere to the regulations so it is only right that those who blatantly ignore them and risk the health of others are dealt with."

Dedicated Covid-19 patrols will continue every day throughout the lockdown, targeting town and city centres, coastal areas and other beauty spots.

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