Almost 1,000 fines issued to coronavirus rule breakers by Thames Valley Police since March


Thames Valley Police has issued almost 1,000 fixed penalty notices for breaches of coronavirus regulations since the beginning of the pandemic.

Figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council reveal the force dished out 771 fines to people flouting national lockdown rules which were introduced on March 26.

This also included the number of fines handed out when the Government eased its nationwide restrictions on July 4.

A further 56 fines were handed out to people disobeying the local COVID-19 tiered alert level system with 97 fixed penalty notices during the second national lockdown in November.

The figures also reveal five people in the region have been punished for holding gatherings of more than 30 people.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “It is right for officers to be inquisitive about why individuals may be away from home.

“Those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we’ll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”

He thanked the ‘vast majority’ of the public for sticking to the rules and doing their bit to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Hewitt added: “Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement or the issuance of a fixed penalty notice.

“Individuals, businesses and a range of agencies all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed, particularly now as we again see increased pressure on the health service.

“We will continue to engage with people proportionately, fairly and using common sense, taking our well-established 4Es approach. We have produced guidance for forces in line with the new national measures in England which reinforces this approach.”

A total of 28,744 fixed penalty notices have been handed out across England since coronavirus regulations were introduced in March.

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