PUBLISHED: 17:11 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 21:40 29 May 2020
PC Tash Snelling during her patrol of Eaton Park yesterday (Good Friday) as the police make sure the public are social distancing properly over the Easter period, during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY
Police in Norfolk have so far handed out almost 370 fines to those breaking lockdown restrictions.
Police patrol along Great Yarmouth’s quiet seafront during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY
Data released today by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reveals that officers in the county’s police force have fined 368 people between March 27 and May 25 for breaches of lockdown laws.
It means 45 more members of the public have been penalised since May 11, by which point 323 people in the county had been served with fixed penalty notices (FPNs).
The latest Norfolk figure of 368 fines compares to 1,035 recorded by the Metropolitan Police, the highest amount among England and Wales’ 43 regional police forces.
A police officer pictured patrolling Eaton park, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY
They are followed by North Yorkshire, with 1,032, and Cornwall and Devon, with 906. Warwickshire officers have issued the fewest, with just 40.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt said:
“As restrictions are carefully eased, the public have been able to go about their business in greater numbers, and with greater flexibility.
“I am confident the vast majority will continue to act responsibly. We will be issuing guidance to officers on how to approach new changes to the regulations in the coming days.”
PC Peter Baitey and PC Tash Snelling from the Earlham Police Station, patrol Eaton Park yesterday (Good Friday) as they make sure the public are social distancing properly over the Easter period, during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY
NPCC said that 12 May was when most fines were given, (178), the day before measures eased in England.
It brings the total of FPNs up to 15,552 issued by forces in England. In Wales, 1,395 FPNs have been issued in the same timeframe.
From Wednesday 13 May, the minimum fine in England increased from £60 to £100, reducing if paid within 14 days. The upper limit for fines also increased from £960 to £3,200.
The NNPC said that the majority of fines continue to be issued to males in the 18-24 age group.
Fines have been more likely to be given at weekends, taking in to account the recent bank holiday weekends, and during periods of warmer weather.
Since restrictions were eased, fines have been issued for reasons such as driving with non-household members, house parties, large gatherings of people from different households, and camping.
Martin Hewitt said: “There is still a responsibility on us all to abide by the regulations set in each part of the UK, and to follow public health guidance as best we can when out and about.”
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