More than 200 people slapped with lockdown fines in Avon and Somerset


- Credit: Archant

More than 200 fines have been handed to people in Avon and Somerset for allegedly flouting Covid-19 lockdown laws, new figures reveal.

Avon and Somerset Police Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen said the ‘vast majority’ of fines were the result of residents not complying, being out in public spaces without excuse, and ignoring police advice.

The Police have been given powers to hand out a £60 penalty for breaches of lockdown rules.

Data published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows 211 fixed penalty notices were handed out by Avon and Somerset Police between March 27 and April 27.

More than 9,000 fines were handed to people across England and Wales during the month-long period.

Nearly 400 were for repeat offenders, with one person fined six times, three people fined five times and six people fined four times.

Thames Valley Police recorded the highest number of fines, with 649, while Warwickshire issued the fewest, with just 22.

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Ms Glen added reports of anti-social behaviour more than doubled nationally to around 215,000 in the four weeks to April 27, compared with 106,000 in the same period last year.

Young men were more likely to breach lockdown rules, as eight out of 10 people fined across England and Wales were men and two-thirds of those fined were aged between 18 to 34.

“The vast majority of the fines we’re seeing enforced are people not complying, being out in public spaces where they don’t have a reasonable excuse to do so, not listening to the officers’ advice in respect of engaging and explaining to the extent where the officer then has to issue a ticket to secure compliance,” she said.

“There are some definite correlations when it gets hot and where we see troublesome spots.”

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said police will face a different challenge when regulations are relaxed and more people are allowed out of their homes.

He said: “I think it’s inevitable that people will get restless. This is now quite an extended period of time. This is hard on everybody, adapting their lives.

“Over the weekend, we sensed across the country a little bit more traffic on the roads and a few more people out and about.

“But having said all of that, we are still seeing the same level of compliance from people.”