More than 250 people in Suffolk hit with Covid-19 fines
PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:30 01 October 2020
More than 250 people have been issued with fines in Suffolk under coronavirus regulations during the past six months, new figures have revealed.
Between March 27 and September 21 this year, 262 people were handed fixed penalty notices in Suffolk related to the enforcement of new Covid-19 rules.
The provisional data, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, also showed 240 people were issued fines in Essex, with 133 in Cambridgeshire and 410 in Norfolk.
No fines were handed out in Suffolk or Essex for breaching face covering restrictions, according to the statistics.
In total, 18,912 fixed penalty notices have been issued in England and Wales over the same snapshot period, with 20 fines relating to large gatherings of more than 30 people and 15 issued under the new ‘rule of six’ regulations – which became effective from September 14.
MORE: Man fined after birthday party breaches ‘rule of six’
The national data, from police forces in England and Wales, also revealed that crime is nearly back to pre-lockdown levels.
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Suffolk police said its officers have sought to “strike a balance” between understanding people’s Covid-19 concerns and being reasonable in actions taken.
Rob Jones, assistant chief constable, said: “Throughout the past six months we have tried to ensure any enforcement we have undertaken has been proportionate for the circumstances involved.
“Officers always try to strike a balance between understanding people’s worries over Covid-19 and being reasonable in the actions they take when people contravene the government restrictions.
“Our focus will remain one of engagement, explanation, encouragement and enforcement when required. We will continue working closely with all of our partners as we have done during the pandemic.”
MORE: How will the ‘rule of six’ be enforced in Suffolk?
ACC Jones added the force “will not sit back” when it is left with no choice but to enforce.
“We are seeing the infection rate rising across the country and while in Suffolk it is not increasing as significantly as other areas, we must all continue to play our part in keeping the county as safe as possible,” he said.
“Suffolk Constabulary will not sit back and allow people to deliberately break the law. Where we are left with no choice but to enforce, we will do so in order to protect our communities.”
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