More Than 14,000 Fines Handed Out For Coronavirus Lockdown Breaches
The police have handed out more than 14,000 fines to people for breaking the coronavirus lockdown laws.
According to new figures released by the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), between 27 March and 11 May 14,424 fixed penalty notices were recorded in England and Wales.
This breaks down to 13,445 in England and 799 in Wales.
Across the whole of England, the Metropolitan Police recorded the most number of fines, with 906 handed out during this time.
Thames Valley Police were next with 866, while cops in North Yorkshire gave out 843. Police in Warwickshire issued the fewest penalty notices, with just 31.
National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: "The vast majority of people continue to do the right thing, which protects the NHS and helps save lives.
"The figures show our approach is proportionate with just 0.02 per cent 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 of - engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce - will continue. It is working across the UK. I urge the public to keep going, keep following the advice.
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"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."
As many of us are now able to spend much more time outdoors, each of us need to take responsibility for doing that within the restrictions set out by the Government.
Officers will continue to Engage, Explain, Encourage and, as a last resort, Enforce.#coronavirus pic.twitter.com/1PVwLIZkm0
- College of Policing (@CollegeofPolice) May 14, 2020
All of the fines were given prior to the recent relaxation of measures, which means they were set at a standard rate of £60 ($73), reduced to £30 ($36) if paid within two weeks.
This was, however, doubled for every repeat offence, up to a maximum of £960 ($1,168).
However, those found to be flouting the laws now will face a standard fine of £100 ($121).
Again, those found to be persistently breaking the rules will see their fine doubled, up to £3,200 ($3,900).
However, while fines can be issued, the NPCC admitted this week that police are unable to enforce the wearing of masks or social distancing, as forces are there to implement laws and not government guidance.
It added, however, that police would enforce legal regulations which prevent people gathering in groups with those not in their household, visiting the homes of friends or family, and visiting or staying at a holiday home or second home.
Featured Image Credit: PA