Police have issued more than 9,000 fines to people in England and Wales for violating new coronavirus laws – including 397 repeat offenders – were released today.
A so-called ‘covidiot’ has received six fines last month after refusing to comply with the rules to stop the spread of the virus that claimed 26,097 lives in the UK.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said that between March 27 and April 27, the Armed Forces in England issued 8,877 fixed fines (FPNs), while 299 were issued in Wales during the same period.
During the Easter weekend, these peaked with an average of 500 fines per day at temperatures of 26 ° C [79f] and people held parties, barbecues or went to the local park or beach.
Forces also received 214,000 phone calls from the public with tips on people breaking social distance rules in the past month – compared to 106,000 for the same period last year.
And depicting who was fined for refusing to stay at home, eight out of ten fines were imposed on men – and 54 percent of rebels were aged between 18 and 29. In cases where ethnicity was registered, 58 percent of the people were white, ten percent were Asian, and four percent were black.
Police have been given the power to issue a fine of £ 60, which will be reduced to £ 30 if paid within two weeks for violating the government’s rules on movement rules. Repeated offenders can face fines of up to £ 960 and arrest.
A police officer speaks to a lone person in St James Park while people enjoyed the sun over the weekend as it was revealed that 9,000 people were fined £ 60 or more
Police have broken down the fines from day to day, but officers have found that the better the weather, the more they have had to impose enforcement
There were a total of 8,877 fines in the past month, most of which were handed out in Lancashire
The police have the power to target people who ignore the coronavirus lock
- Up to two years’ imprisonment if you intentionally cough on someone after a wave of attacks on police and emergency workers
- People who continue to ignore the coronavirus lockout rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested as part of new enforcement powers announced by the Home Office.
- Officers can also tell them to go home, leave or disperse an area, and ensure that parents take appropriate measures to prevent their children from breaking the law.
- Those who refuse to comply can receive a lump sum fine of £ 60, which is reduced to £ 30 if paid within 14 days.
- Second offenders can be fined £ 120 doubling for each subsequent repeat offense.
- Those who do not pay the fine can be taken to court, with magistrates imposing fines of up to £ 1,000 or more;
NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said fines were only given in circumstances where people refused to leave the area and go home.
He added, “As the latest preliminary figures on the number of fines imposed show, the vast majority of people continue to do well, staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“The figures also show that our use of enforcement powers is still proportional: only 0.02% of the population in England is fined.”
Boris Johnson has been told by police chiefs that they are “ getting a grip ” of nonsensical lockdown rules, in which lonely sun worshipers were scolded, but hundreds were allowed to gather outside B & Qs across Britain last weekend.
With no exit plan in sight, large numbers of Britons went out to shop and enjoy the weather over the weekend, fearing the closure seems to be unraveling.
Police spoke to individuals who sunbathe alone or with a partner in Greenwich Park, Hyde Park and St James’ Park in London.
But B & Q’s decision to reopen 130 stores created huge queues outside the establishments in Watford, Edinburgh, Bristol and Swansea, while people used the closure to catch up on DIY.
Hundreds were allowed to queue to enter this B&Q at Watford as Ken Marsh, president of the Met Police Federation, said the rules ‘don’t make sense’
What are the lockdown rules?
Regulation 6 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 states that no one may leave the place where he or she lives without a reasonable excuse.
The Chief of National Police has released his interpretation of what is a ‘reasonable excuse’:
It classifies its interpretation of how the law relates to daily activities.
It defines activities that are likely to be reasonable, such as:
– Buying food for several days, including luxury items and alcohol.
– Buying tools and supplies to repair a fence panel damaged by recent bad weather.
– Exercise including: running or cycling or practicing yoga. Walking in the countryside or in cities. Attend an allotment garden.
– Stop to rest or have lunch during a long walk.
It defines activities that are ‘probably not reasonable’ if:
– Buy paint and brushes to redesign a kitchen
– A short walk to a park bench, when the person is sitting much longer
– A person who can work from home and chooses to work in a local park.
To explain each area, it adds:
Shopping – It is not necessary for all of a person’s shopping to be basic foods; the purchase of snacks and luxury is still permitted. In general, a person has a reasonable excuse to visit the stores that remain open to customers according to regulations.
If someone doesn’t already have the address for good reason, it would be disproportionate to prevent the person from buying non-essential items. Food can also be hot food from takeaways.
Exercise – Exercise should involve some movement, but it is acceptable for a person to stop for an interruption of exercise. However, a very short period of “exercise” to excuse a long period of inactivity may mean that the person is not engaged in “exercise” but in fact something else.
Home improvements –
The regulations specify maintenance and upkeep. This does not apply to renovation and improvements.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Met Police Federation, said, “You can’t have a scenario where the police tell two people in a park not to sit on a bench, but 50 yards away there are 300 people, can’t put a fagot between them , in line to enter a DIY store ‘.
Police officers are at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus crisis. We need clear and unambiguous laws, guidance and communication from the government on what the public can and cannot do. What is essential and what is not? ‘
There are signs that public moderation was cracking as the beaches in Brighton and Bournemouth and the parks across the UK have been busier than in the past five weeks.
Several forces have highlighted the most glaring breaches of guidance they have come across on social media, but others have complained about a crackdown.
Devon and Cornwall police fined a Kent couple for driving approximately 300 miles on a ‘mini-holiday’ by the sea. Their car was seized after it turned out that the driver had no driver’s license or insurance.
Ten people from London who traveled 245 miles for a walk in North Wales were sent home and reported by police for breaking lockdown rules.
The group, who drove in two separate vehicles, had made the five-hour trip from the capital earlier on Sunday.
But they were stopped by police near their destination on the A5 in Bethesda.
They told the agents they planned to go hiking in Snowdonia, the mountainous national park in North Wales.
Instead, North Wales police officers, who tweeted brief details about the incident, reported them for breaking lockdown laws.
Two couples from Slough have been packed in by police after they turned up for a weekend break at an Airbnb 100 miles away in Gloucestershire in blatant violation of the lockdown rules.
The Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire incident was one of several breaches reported in the area over the weekend.
The two couples were warned and told by the police to leave the province.
Officers in the same area of Gloucestershire have also closed a car wash and issued warnings to people attending barbecues and house parties.