Police defend decision after issuing Covid fines to men ‘roaming the streets’ in lockdown

South Yorkshire Police has defended the decision of officers to issue fines for Covid breaches to men ‘roaming’ the streets of Rotherham.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 12:42 pm

Rotherham Central neighbourhood policing team posted on social media that a police officer and PCSO had issued fines to two men for ‘breaching Covid-19 rules’ by ‘roaming the streets of Rotherham town centre with no valid reason’.

Members of the public were quick to point out that there are no restrictions on taking exercise outdoors and questioned the validity of the fines.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

South Yorkshire Police has defended its decision to issue fines for Covid breaches to two men 'roaming the streets' in Rotherham (Photo: Getty)

In response, South Yorkshire Police said: “There is additional context around this incident.

“In this case, the men in question had been spoken to numerous times previously and continued to approach residents by knocking on doors in Grosvenor Road to sell scrap metal and other items.

“The men were subsequently issued with a fixed penalty notice and given further advice about the restrictions in place.

“Where officers suspect a Covid breach, in the first instance they will always seek to engage with people to gather more details and ensure we understand their circumstances.”

The Government announced this morning that the whole of South Yorkshire will be in Tier 3 when the country comes out of lockdown on December 2.

Barnsley MP and Sheffield City Region mayor, Dan Jarvis, said the Government tweeted: “We must not stay there a moment longer than we have to.

“We need better test and trace; better, fairer support for our people and businesses; and above all a credible road map out.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.