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Iran Press TV

17,000 fined for allegedly breaching lockdown rules in England and Wales

Iran Press TV

Friday, 29 May 2020 4:55 PM

Data from the National Police Chiefs' Council reveals that alleged breaches of the coronavirus lockdown in England and Wales have resulted in 17,000 fines being issued.

15,552 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were recorded by forces in England up until 25 May, while 1,395 were issued in Wales.

Since lockdown measures were eased on 13 May, the number of fines issued has fallen considerably, with a total of 841 fines handed out in England.

From 27 March, officers were able to issue fines if individuals did not comply after officers engaged with them to explain the government public health regulations to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The minimum fine in England, once lockdown restrictions were eased on 13 May, increased from £60 to £100, reducing if paid within 14 days. The upper limit for fines also increased from £960 to £3,200.

Individuals have been fined for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, driving with non-household members, house parties, large gatherings of people from different households, and camping.

National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: "As restrictions are carefully eased, the public have been able to go about their business in greater numbers, and with greater flexibility.

"The collective public effort over the past two months has meant police officers have only rarely had to step in to enforce regulations and even less so in the past few weeks. I am confident the vast majority will continue to act responsibly.

"We will be issuing guidance to officers on how to approach new changes to the regulations in the coming days. The overarching aim of the police response has always been to keep people as safe as possible, and encourage them to follow the regulations, thereby reducing the transmission of the virus.

"We will continue to play our part and are grateful for all of the positive engagement we have had with the public to date," he added.

The majority of those fined have been men aged between 18 and 24. Weekends, especially recent bank holiday weekend and periods of warmer weather, have seen more fines being handed out.

Mr Hewitt said everyone must still abide by regulations set by each part of the UK and continue following public health guidance.

"Throughout this pandemic, officers have only enforced as a last resort and have taken a common sense approach, applying their discretion and judgement when engaging with the public."



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