'Putting birthday parties above Covid rules': Police hand out half of county's lockdown fines in Scarborough borough
More than 100 fines have been issued in the first week of lockdown by North Yorkshire Police for people breaching the coronavirus regulations, and almost half of them have come on the coast.
Superintendent Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police’s lead for its Covid response, said the “vast majority” of people were adhering to the rules but that a minority were putting “birthday parties” above following the guidance.
He said at the weekend officers in Craven were “run off their feet” turning people away from beauty spots as people travelled in to see the snow.
Supt Walker said: “This is not just down to the police this is a matter of personal responsibility and making sure that your decisions and actions do not put others at risk.”
He added that he understood the public’s need for “clarity” around the issued of what is local but that his message was clear.
He said: “It is not reasonable or essential to travel lengthy distances to take daily exercise when it can be taken from the doorstep.
“We do not expect people to be travelling multiple miles in a car to take their exercise in North Yorkshire but unfortunately, as we saw at the weekend, compliance was poor and people were travelling substantial distances just to take daily exercise.
“I think we can sometimes get lost in the detail of what can and cannot do and we lose focus on the real reason we are being asked to limit our movement and why the police are enforcing this legislation. It is to stop people from dying from this virus.”
In total, 107 fines have been issued by North Yorkshire Police since lockdown began on Wednesday. In the first week of April’s restrictions 46 fines were handed out.
Supt Walker said that 49 of the fines had been handed out in the Scarborough borough, with 22 in York and 19 in Craven.
Fifty-eight of the fines were for being away from home without a valid reason and 49 for indoor gatherings.
Fifty of the fines were issued to people from outside North Yorkshire, with 33 given to people from West Yorkshire who had travelled into the county.