More Than 1,000 Fines Have Been Issued Across England And Wales During Coronavirus Lockdown
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The police have issued more than 1,000 fines across England and Wales to people flouting the coronavirus lockdown government guidance.
Speaking at today's media briefing, Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, outlined that 1,084 people have been fined for defying the lockdown, across 37 police forces between the two countries.
Mr Hewitt said: "Since the new powers were introduced, officers have engaged with thousands of people and in most cases these people have quickly understood why it's important to follow the rules and no enforcement has been necessary.
"Officers on the ground are telling me that they're seeing a great amount of support from the public and indeed getting thanks for the role that they are playing. However, we have had a small minority of people who - despite our best efforts - have refused to follow the instruction and officers have needed to use their enforcement powers.
"Next week we will publish full data on enforcement so far which will include this Easter weekend but I can tell you now that using early data from 37 forces that 1,084 fines have been issued in England and Wales up to Thursday 8th of April. That's an average of less than 84 a day."
Earlier in the briefing, he explained: "In many ways this feels a very different Easter weekend for all of us - not travelling to see family and friends or out enjoying the glorious weather.
"It feels different for the police officers and staff who are working this weekend too. They have new responsibilities; they are tackling new risks. The streets are empty, businesses are closed as we all adapt to a new way of life.
"But much does remain the same. Officers are still out in their communities, fighting crime, protecting victims and tackling anti-social behaviour."
He added: "Initial figures from all forces show an overall 21 percent fall in overall crime across the last four weeks compared to the same period last year.
"That drop combined with the commitment from our over 200,000 officers and staff across the UK and the fantastic response from our volunteer special constables who worked more than 222,000 hours in March means that we are in a strong position.
"Keep reporting crime to us, our teams are working round the clock to keep you safe and respond to emergencies."
Home Secretary Priti Patel added: "We've seen certain practices - garden parties and house parties. It's going against the grain and the spirit of these measures."
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