FPNs issued to people not wearing face coverings on buses
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Police officers have issued six people with fixed penalty notices after they failed to wear face coverings on a bus.
Officers from the Northampton Neighbourhood Team conducted patrols in the town centre on Tuesday (October 20) after receiving a large number of complaints about people failing to wear face coverings on buses, particularly on services travelling to industrial estates.
A bus travelling from the town centre to Swann Valley was pulled over by officers near to Sixfields Stadium after a number of passengers were seen failing to wear face coverings.
As a result of the stop three passengers were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices with £200 fines.
Superintendent Elliot Foskett, from Northamptonshire Police, said: “We have received countless complaints about people failing to wear face masks on buses, which puts other passengers and bus drivers at risk.
“We have been conducting patrols near bus stops across the county but it has become clear that people are removing their masks once the buses have started their journey.
“It is illegal not to wear a face covering while using public transport unless you are included on the exemptions list, and we have a responsibility to keep people safe and enforce the law.”
Officers stopped a second bus as part of their operation on Tuesday, when a woman who was failing to wear a face covering was given words of advice after claiming she was exempt from wearing one.
A further three people were issued with FPNs for failing to wear a face covering on a bus yesterday (October 22).
Supt Foskett added: “During the second stop the bus driver thanked the officers for the action they had taken.
“I understand some people don’t agree with the law around the use of face coverings, or they don’t like wearing them, however, it is the law which is in place to help protect people, including bus drivers who shouldn’t be put at risk simply for going to work.
“We are seeing the number of Covid-19 cases increase in Northamptonshire and it is vital that we all do our part in helping to stop the spread.
“We have stepped up our patrols across the county in order to tackle those people not following the law and where people continue to put others at risk, we will take enforcement action if appropriate.”
Cllr Anna King, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “We have continued to work closely with our police colleagues to engage with bus users and inform them of their responsibilities, but where this is falling on deaf ears we’re pleased to see enforcement powers being used.
“Using face coverings in enclosed spaces is vital if we are to effectively tackle this invisible threat which can so easily spread out of control.”