More Covid-19 fines handed out by police during lockdown

The number of Covid-19 fines handed out by police has begun to rise amid tighter lockdown rules.

Figures published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) showed that in total, 24,933 fixed penalty notices were handed out by forces in England and Wales between March 27 and November 16.

Weekly figures showed that 1,137 were issued between November 6 and 12, compared to 947 the previous week.

In general terms, the number of fines handed out peaked in April and May, stayed low between June and September and then gradually began to rise again, in particular since October 23.

This is despite the fact that around half of the fixed penalty notices have gone unpaid, with more than 60% not paid within the 28-day period in some areas of England up to September 21.

For face coverings, the NPCC figures showed a total of 641 fines were issued between June 15 and November 16, including 169 on public transport, an average of eight per week.

The remaining 472 were handed out in relevant places such as shops. The weekly number rose sharply to 78 between October 2 and 8, and has ranged between 43 and 91 since then.

Crime figures also published by the NPCC on Monday showed that total crime was down 9% in October this year compared to 2019, including a drop of 18% in serious violent crime.

Domestic violence rose by 2%.