More fines issued in North Yorkshire for breaking lockdown rules than anywhere else in the county

More fines have been issued in North Yorkshire for breaking lockdown rules than anywhere else in the county, new figures reveal.

Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 4:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 4:48 pm

Between March 27 and April 13, a total of 150 fines have been issued by North Yorkshire Police according to statistics released today by the National Police Chief's Council.

This was the highest of any force across Yorkshire and the Humber, and the seventh highest in England.

West Yorkshire Police have issued 121 fines, South Yorkshire Police 118 whilst Humberside have issued just 2.

Stock image. JPI Media

A total of 3,203 fines were issued in England for flouting the government restrictions.

Police forces in England were given the power to arrest or fine people for breaking the coronavirus lockdown rules on March 27.

Adults who commit an offence under the new regulations can be handed £60 fines, reduced to £30 if payment is made within two weeks.

But if anyone has been fined for breaking lockdown before, the fine will be doubled up to a maximum of £960.

If the fine is paid within 28 days, people will not be convicted of an offence but those who do not pay the fixed penalty notice could be taken to court with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

82 per cent of fines have been given to men and 15 per cent to women, with 3 per cent unknown.

A third of fines have been given to those aged 18-24, with a further third going to those aged 25-34, the figures revealed.

Fines for breaches of government public health regulations issued by police officers in England and Wales equate to less than 0.01 per cent of the eligible population in England and Wales.

Overall crime numbers are down compared to this time last year, with police forces seeing a 28 per cent reduction in the four weeks to April 12 compared to the same period in 2019.

The NPCC said provisional data from police forces in England and Wales shows a reduction in crime during coronavirus outbreak and that the vast majority of the public are following government regulations enacted in response to the crisis.

National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Chair Martin Hewitt, said: “The service across the UK currently has an overall absence rate of ten per cent, covering both officers and staff, and not simply relating to Covid-19. With reductions in crime, policing is in a strong, resilient position due to the brilliant commitment of officers and staff and the extra hours of our police volunteers.

“Our message to the public is keep reporting crime to us – we are still here for you and our teams are working round clock to keep you safe.

“To those in danger or at risk, my message is we will come when you call for help.”

On the enforcement on new public health regulations, NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt said: “The vast majority of people are staying at home in order to protect the NHS and help save lives.

"However, we have seen a small minority of people who, despite our best efforts, have refused to follow the instructions and officers have needed to use their enforcement powers.

“I want to thank everyone who is being responsible and following the regulations.

“Provisional data on the number of fines issued by police forces shows proportionate policing of these new regulations. Police have interacted with the public in their tens of thousands, with most engagements ending positively and with no need for a fine.

“Our approach of - engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce - is working and will continue.”