Update on Coronavirus Fixed Penalty Notices issued by Bedfordshire Police Image By Brian Jackson AdobeStock_55433134

Police in England and Wales issued 68,952 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Coronavirus restrictions up to 14 February

The latest provisional figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show that 26,277 fines were processed between the end of the last reporting period, 17 January, and 14 February.

The total issued (27/3/2020 to 14/2/2021) in England is now 63,201 and 5,751 in Wales.

Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, said:

“We are still in a really dangerous stage of a pandemic which has killed more than 120,000 people. Eleven months on and back into a national lockdown, the rules are really clear and so it is frustrating that we still have a small number of completely defiant and irresponsible people who have no regard for the safety of themselves or others.

“While we are still following our 4 E model of engage, explain, encourage and only using enforcement as a last resort, officers are not getting into a debate or discussion with these people about what the rules are or whether they are necessary. We all know we must wear a face covering in a shop or on a bus and we all know we can’t meet up in groups.

“We’re taking a common sense approach, applying discretion and judgement when engaging with the public. But common sense would dictate that someone having a party is well aware what they are doing is wrong and has made an informed decision to do it anyway.

“Our extra dedicated patrols across the country will continue to support those of us making significant sacrifices in following the rules by taking enforcement action against those who are not.”

Bedfordshire Police issued 672 FPNs between 27 March 2020 to 14 February 2021. Chief Superintendent John Murphy, said:

“Our approach throughout has been to engage and educate in the first instance, and as a force we have carried out regular patrols.

“We have continued to work with our partners to ensure people have been complying with the regulations and have supported our communities to make Bedfordshire safe.

“Fines and enforcement are a last resort for us, but where necessary we have taken firm action against those who brazenly decide to breach the regulations.

“Thank you to those who continue to adhere to the government guidelines, by staying at home and preventing the spread of coronavirus.”

Provisional figures also released by the NPCC show the year on year rise in assaults on emergency workers continues. They are 14% higher in the month to 14 February compared to the year before.

Martin Hewitt added:

“We are still seeing people threatening to infect officers with the virus and coughing or spitting on them. This is disgusting and anyone who does this can expect to be arrested and prosecuted.”