Reminder to continue to follow lockdown rules after 114 fines given out at weekend

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Northamptonshire Police is issuing a reminder that lockdown remains in force after a busy weekend which saw 114 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) given out to people breaking Covid-19 rules.

The Government laid out the stages of its plan to gradually lift coronavirus restrictions last Monday (February 22), with the first stage of relaxing the current lockdown rules due to come in at the end of this month.

While reports of Covid-19 breaches fell during last week, over the weekend the Force saw a marked increase in 101 calls and online reports which, combined with pre-planned proactive police patrols, led to a significant number of FPNs being handed out for breaches of Covid-19 legislation.

Between Friday, February 26, and Sunday, February 28, Northamptonshire Police officers issued 114 FPNs across the county, including 36 people being given £200 fines for unnecessary journeys, and 33 people receiving £200 fines for mixing indoors.

Fines were also issued for failing to wear face coverings, failing to isolate after returning from abroad and to one non-essential business which remained open against regulations. A total of 339 Covid-related incidents were reported to the Force during this period.

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, who is leading the Force’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, said: “We remain in national lockdown and the rules we have been living under since January continue to apply even at the weekends or when the sun is shining.

“It is so disappointing to still find people willing to break these rules, which exist to keep the most vulnerable among us as safe as possible from the virus, which is still killing people every day.

“These vulnerable people are our loved ones, our family and friends, our neighbours and colleagues – by breaking the rules you are deliberately choosing to put them in harm’s way. You are also risking driving infection rates back up and therefore making it more likely that restrictions will have to remain in place for longer than the provisional dates given by Government.

“Everyone wants life to return to a more normal state, which means continuing to follow the rules until they are lifted. Until then, we will do all in our power to make sure anyone choosing to break them is brought to account.”