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387 Covid fines handed out by Cambridgeshire police

Cambridgeshire police have handed out 387 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid-19 rules.

Of those, 22 were for breaches of face coverings regulations “on public transport and relevant places”, three were for holding gatherings of more than 30 people and seven were for transgressions of international travel regulations.

Face coverings are mandatory in some places.
Face coverings are mandatory in some places.

They cover the period from March 27, 2020 – when Covid-19 regulations came into effect – through to January 17, 2021.

Those rules have become stricter. Fines of £800 – up from £200 – can now be issued to people caught at house parties.

The penalty will apply for groups of more than 15 people and will double after each offence, up to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offenders. A £10,000 penalty applies for the organiser of any unlawful gathering of more than 30 people.

Across 43 forces, the British Transport Police and Ministry of Defence Police, there were 38,452 fines issued in England under coronavirus regulations during the time period.

Cambridgeshire had the sixth lowest number of penalty notices given, with only Cleveland (331), Durham (306), Gloucestershire (299), Wiltshire (268) and Humberside (173) having fewer. The highest was Northumbria, which had 3,821.

387 Covid fines have been issued by Cambridgeshire police since the pandemic began, according to the latest figures
387 Covid fines have been issued by Cambridgeshire police since the pandemic began, according to the latest figures

Nationally, a report from the National Police Chiefs Council shows that of all the enforcement notices issued in England and Wales:

  • The highest number (13,994) have been issued for contravening rules around the restriction of movement;
  • More than seven out of 10 were issued to males;
  • More than seven out of 10 were issued to the under-35s, with 44 per cent issued to 18 to 24-year-olds, 16 per cent to those aged 25-29 and 12 per cent to those aged 30-34.

Of those fixed penality notices where ethnicity was recorded, 80 per cent were issued to people who self-identified as white, 11 per cent went to those who self-identified as Asians and six per cent to those identifying as black.

Some 250 £10,000 fines have been handed to organisers of mass gatherings of more than 30 people, including illegal raves, parties and protests, in England, with two in Wales.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “We have seen a noticeable increase in enforcement in the last month.

“We are doing what we said we would, moving more quickly to enforcement where there are clear breaches of the rules.

“This seriously dangerous stage of the virus and national lockdown have led to more proactive patrols by forces and more FPNs have been issued as a result.

“We know most people are doing their best to follow the rules, however there is a stubborn minority who are not taking personal responsibility and continue to put people at risk.

“The most effective way to reduce the virus spreading and to avoid getting a fine, is for people to comply with the regulations and to stay home unless they have an exemption which applies to them.”

Throughout the pandemic, sustained falls in crime have been recorded, with crime only rising close to 2019 levels during the summer months.

However, assaults against emergency service workers reported within this snapshot show a rise of four per cent against the same period in 2019.

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