Police handing out more Covid fines amid tighter lockdown rules

The number of Covid-19 fines handed out by police have risen 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.

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 (stock photo)

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

It comes as some forces have been accused of overzealous policing of the rules that have targeted groups such as students unfairly. 

Luke Anderson, 22, a student in Newcastle, claimed six police and Covid marshals forced entry into his home when they wrongly suspected he was having a party.

After realising everyone in the house actually lived there, he said he was told by officers to ‘go to bed’, and did not receive an apology.

‘This is just completely destroying relationships between students and the police,’ he told talkRADIO.

‘They are breaching our human rights to have peaceful enjoyment of your house, everybody’s scare inside their own home, I feel like any moment they could come and kick the door down and tell us to leave or “go to bed”.’

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.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt, said: 'Crime is lower than at the same point last year, however the demand on the police service remains significant'

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt, said: 'Crime is lower than at the same point last year, however the demand on the police service remains significant'

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt, said: ‘Crime is lower than at the same point last year, however the demand on the police service remains significant’

The NPCC also said serious violent crime, shoplifting, vehicle crime and burglary were all lower compared to last year in the four-week period to 25 October. 

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

Domestic violence rose by 2 per cent.

Its chairman, Martin Hewitt, said: ‘Crime is lower than at the same point last year, however the demand on the police service remains significant.

‘Particularly during the month of December, officers and police staff will be working hard to tackle crime, keep communities safe, and play our part in reducing the spread of coronavirus.

‘We encourage the public to follow the rules in place for their part of the country, and to remain vigilant as shops begin to open again in time for Christmas as criminals may seek to exploit opportunities to commit crime.’

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