Coronavirus: Which police force has handed out the most lockdown fines?

A Metropolitan police officer asks a sunbather to move along in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A Met Police officer asks a sunbather to move along in front of London's National Gallery as the UK's coronavirus lockdown continues. (PA)

More than 3,000 fines have been issued by police forces in England for people breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.

Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show that a total of 3,203 fines were issued by police forces in England between 27 March 27 and 13 April.

People as old as 100 were slapped with a £60 penalty, which is reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks, while 83 people were taken straight to court for alleged breaches of the rules.

Nearly 40 fines mistakenly issued to children will be withdrawn because the law does not allow fixed penalty notices to be issued to under-18s, deputy chief constable Sara Glen – NPCC lead for lead for out-of-court disposals – told journalists.

A force-by-force breakdown of the number of penalty notices issued shows that the highest were handed out in Lancashire, at 380, followed by Thames Valley Police with 219, while Surrey chalked up 205.

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Dep Ch Con Glen said visitors to the seaside town of Blackpool could be behind why Lancashire’s tally was so high.

She said: “We absolutely see temperatures and coastal resorts having a challenge there. If we look at Lancashire, they had a phenomenal… 4,853 calls for service.

“They needed to issue 380 fines – very much due to barbecues, house parties… Blackpool, beaches, you’ve got a lot going on there in terms of temperature, location, context.”

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

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