Several fines issued to groups gathering on Brighton beach on New Years Eve, breaching Covid restrictions
As cases continue to rise in the South East, Sussex Police appealed to local communities to quietly mark New Year in their own home and/or support bubble in line with Tier 4 restrictions.
Officers were deployed across Sussex to use the 4E's approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging the public to do the right thing which was largely successful. In cases where this was not effective, or the rules were blatantly breached, enforcement action was taken.
In the period from 6pm on Thursday (31 December) to 3am on Friday (1 January), a total of 81 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Sussex.
Out of the total number, 66 were issued in Brighton and Hove, nine in West Sussex and six in East Sussex.
These FPNs ranged from outdoor gatherings of groups in public spaces, to private parties, and people travelling from outside the area into the county.
Several tickets were issued to groups gathering on Brighton beach in breach of the restrictions, however there was no large-scale event on the seafront.
Five tickets were issued to a group stopped in a car from London who claimed they were in Brighton to collect a takeaway.
Police were called to a house party in High Street, Uckfield at 11.50pm where people repeatedly returned to an address despite being warned by officers. The occupant of the address was issued a fine.
During the same period - from 6pm to 3am - a total of 44 arrests were made across Sussex for offences which included public order, assault and drink driving.
Police broke up a gathering at a house in Coldean Lane, Brighton shortly before midnight that was in breach of the regulations. A 42-year-old man was arrested for attempting to drink drive after being seen to get into a car and start the ignition.
Meanwhile, in Broadfield Park, Crawley, a 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of public order offences after police received reports of a man shouting abuse.
Chief Superintendent Tanya Jones said: "We know that this remains a challenging time and we are pleased to report that the vast majority of people are doing the right thing and following the regulations."