Sussex Police issue 45 fines to Covid lockdown rule breakers

Sussex Police carried out enforcement action at the weekend

Police officers working in Sussex have issued 45 Fixed Penalty Notices to people who were breaking lockdown rules over the weekend.

The enforcement action came during the first weekend of the third national lockdown which began on Wednesday 6th January.

A statement from Sussex Police said that officers were out on the streets patrolling communities at the weekend and engaging with the public, where necessary, urging people to 'do the right thing' by following the restrictions.

The force said that the fines were handed down to people who were found to be blatantly breaching the government’s Covid-19 regulations of staying at home unless there was a good reason to leave home - such as to go to work which can not be done at home; for daily exercise; to buy food or for medical emergencies.

In one case a fine was issued to a man who had tested positive for Covid-19 and who should have been at home self-isolating, but instead went to people's homes in Hastings to cut and style their hair.

Another case included a driver from Surrey who was stopped for speeding. The police officers involved said that he claimed he was rushing to deal with an alarm which was going off at his business in Brighton, but when questioned he was not able to give them any legitimate proof about the business address or the premises. He did not have a reasonable excuse for making an essential journey - and he was fined.

We know this is an extremely difficult time for everyone, however the actions we take and the decisions we make now can help save lives. This pandemic has been ongoing for almost a year now, and so we are all familiar with what we should be doing to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus.

We know the overwhelming majority of people in Sussex are doing the right thing by staying home, wearing masks and social distancing, but unfortunately a small minority of people continue to ignore the rules.

The restrictions are in place for a reason – any unnecessary contact had with someone is a potential link to a vulnerable person. Everyone has a responsibility to make the right decisions. It is disappointing that our officers have to take this enforcement action again this weekend against those who are still blatantly breaching the rules as if they do not apply to them.

It’s so important, now as much as ever, that we pull together and do what we need to do to protect our NHS and our communities from the virus.

Superintendent Julia Pope, Sussex Police