Police have reportedly handed out nearly 70,000 fines to those people in the country who were breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules
Police have reportedly handed out nearly 70,000 fines to those people in the country who were breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules since they came into force, with over 6,000 issued in a single week, new data has now shown.
Figures that had been published on Thursday by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) have shown that a total of 68,952 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) had been issued by police forces throughout the UK.
Of this figure, 63,201 fines had been handed out in England and 5,751 in Wales between the 27th of March last year and the 14th of February.
This comes after businesses have welcomed news that the non-essential retail sector could reopen as soon as the 12th of April. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, as he outlined his roadmap for England’s way out of lockdown.
Fines shot up following the introduction of the Tier 4 restrictions in the UK before Christmas, as well as the latest nationwide lockdown in England on the 4th of January, reflecting a move towards the quicker enforcement by the police force.
Provisional figures have shown that 26,277 fines were processed in the month between the 17th of January and the 14th of February.
A total of 4,752 fines had been handed out in the seven days to the 11th of February, down from the 6,218 fines from the previous week, but higher than that of the first lockdown’s peak of 3,294 fine occurring during the week of the Easter bank holiday in April.
- Large gatherings – 272 £10,000 fines were issued for gatherings of more than 30 people in England and three in Wales
- Gatherings of more than 15 people – 485 £800 FPNs were issued for gatherings of more than 15 people
- Face masks – 2,344 FPNs were issued for breaches of the face coverings regulations between 15th of June and the 14th of February
- Businesses – 582 FPNs were issued to businesses up to the 14th of February
- International travel regulations – 402 fines were issued in England and three in Wales to those failing to self-isolate after arriving from a country on government’s quarantine list
NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “We are still in a really dangerous stage of a pandemic which has killed more than 120,000 people.
“Eleven months on and back into a national lockdown, the rules are really clear and so it is frustrating that we still have a small number of completely defiant and irresponsible people who have no regard for the safety of themselves or others.”
This comes after one person in seven now have antibodies against the coronavirus, with the vaccine starting to add to the immunity of the wider population, according to new research on the virus.
Mr Hewitt added: “We all know we must wear a face covering in a shop or on a bus and we all know we can’t meet up in groups.
“We’re taking a common sense approach, applying discretion and judgement when engaging with the public.
“But common sense would dictate that someone having a party is well aware what they are doing is wrong and has made an informed decision to do it anyway”.