More than 750 Covid fines issued by South Yorkshire Police ahead of latest lockdown

South Yorkshire Police had already issued more than 750 Covid fines before the latest lockdown began, new figures show.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 8:18 pm

A total of 673 fines were dished out by officers in the region between the start of the pandemic and December 20 last year, figures published today by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show.

That doesn’t include the 81 fixed penalty notices the force said its dedicated Covid response team handed out for alleged breaches of the rules on New Year’s Eve alone, when police received 265 calls in a single day about suspected contraventions.

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Police in South Yorkshire have issued more than 750 Covid fines

The latest figures represent a big rise on the 423 coronavirus fines the NPCC said last month that South Yorkshire Police had issued between March 27 and November 16, 2020.

Since the pandemic began, Northumbria Police have issued the most Covid fines, with 3,034 being handed out by officers there, according to the latest NPCC statistics.

Greater Manchester has handed out the second most fines, with 2,183, followed by the Metropolitan Police, with 1,761.

Across England and Wales, 32,329 fines have been issued by police, with 80 per cent given to those aged between 18 and 39.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt thanked the ‘vast majority of the public’ for sticking to the rules and said it was ‘vital’ everyone continues to take personal responsibility by staying at home.

“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,” he added.

“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.

“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.”