Increase in number of fixed penalty notices issued for breach of Covid-19 legislation
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Police in Northamptonshire have stepped up their enforcement of the Covid-19 legislation, with 374 Fixed Penalty Notices now issued since the end of March.
The Force has been given £286,000 by the Government in order to increase enforcement activity as the number of cases of coronavirus increase across the county.
The latest statistics released by the National Police Chief’s Council, show that more than 20,000 FPNs have been issued by UK police forces between 27 March and 19 October.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have followed an engage, explain, educate and enforce approach, where we have prioritised speaking to the public, reminding them of the legislation and only taking enforcement action as a last resort.
“However, it is clear that despite an increase in cases across Northamptonshire some people continue to ignore the regulations intended to stop the spread of this virus and so we have increased our enforcement of the Coronavirus legislation where necessary.
“Following concerns raised by members of the public about people repeatedly failing to wear face coverings on particular bus routes and shops, we have carried out enforcement activity in these areas in the last week.
“We are working closely with local councils to visit business premises which have been highlighted as having repeated breaches and where engagement alone isn’t working.”
ACC Blatchly added: “I understand there are some people who don’t believe we should be taking action against those people who fail to follow these restrictions, however that is the job of policing as well as preserving life. These laws have been introduced to try and help contain a virus that makes some people very unwell and sadly has seen more than 45,000 lose their lives.
“I fully appreciate the frustration that people feel about the continued restrictions we face and thank those of you who have been following the rules. However, we are clearly now experiencing a second wave of cases and it is vital we all do what we can to help stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Between 27 March and 19 October the following FPNs were issued in Northamptonshire:
- 264 x contravene requirement as to the restriction of movement during emergency period
- 18 x contravene a direction or fail to comply with instruction
- 57 x contravene requirement to not participate in gathering in public or more than two people
- 3 x leave/were outside of place living in England without reasonable excuse
- 2 x stay overnight in a place other than home address without reasonable excuse
- 2 x person arriving in England from outside England and fail to self-isolate
- 7 x participate in gathering of more than six
- 4 x following positive COVID test failed to comply with self-isolation legislation
- 9 x fail to wear face covering on public transport
- 7 x contravene direction to wear face covering
- 1 x contravene direction to return to place of self-isolation
Eighteen people who were issued with FPNs in Northamptonshire have appeared in Magistrates’ Court since September to challenge the fines. Their challenges were unsuccessful.
- One person received a fine of £47, plus £90 court cost and £34 victim surcharge.
- One person received a fine of £146, plus £90 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.
- 15 people have received a fine of £220, plus £90 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.
- One person received a fine of £400, plus £8 court costs and £32 victim surcharge.
The FPNs had been issued for various offences, including for contravening the requirement of restriction of movement, contravening the requirement to not participate in a gathering of more than two and failing to comply with an instruction.