Covid: More than 5,000 fines for breaching covid rules have been handed out in the North East and North Yorkshire

Over 30,000 fines have been handed out by police for breaches of Covid-19 laws since they came into force.

More than 5,000 of those penalties were given to people in the North East and North Yorkshire region.

5,084

Fines were handed out by police forces in the North East and North Yorkshire

Northumbria Police force handed out the most fines in England and Wales last year, dishing out penalties on more than 3,000 occasions.

North Yorkshire Police recorded the second highest number, with almost 1,500 handed down to people who were not abiding by the rules.

Cleveland Police and Durham Police handed out far fewer penalties in the 9 month period since the laws were introduced.

Here is a full breakdown of fines by police force:

313

Fixed penalty notices were issued by Cleveland Police

253

Fixed penalty notices were issued by Durham Constabulary

1,484

Fixed penalty notices were issued by North Yorkshire Police

3,034

Fixed penalty notices were issued by Northumbria Police

Police patrolling Tynemouth during lockdown Credit: PA

Figures published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) on Friday 8 January shows a total of 32,329 fixed penalty notices were issued by forces in England and Wales between March 27 and December 21 last year.

The report said there has been a downward trend in recent weeks following a rise in fines as restrictions were tightened from September, with the peak of 3,288 coming during the week of the Easter Bank Holiday in April.

The most recent weekly figures showed 542 tickets handed out in the week to December 17, compared with 821 in the previous seven days.



Fines were handed out to those who refused to wear a face covering without good reasoning Credit: PA

Fines for face coverings:

  • 958 fines were issued between June 15 and December 20

  • 199 were given on public transport, an average of seven a week.

  • 759 penalties were handed out in relevant places such as shops

The weekly number rose sharply to 78 between October 2 and 8, remaining at a similar level until late November, when it began to decline, with 33 fines issued in the most recent full week to December 17.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: "It is right for officers to be inquisitive about why individuals may be away from home. Those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we'll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour."

Enforcement doesn't and shouldn't always equal police involvement or the issuance of a fixed penalty notice.

Martin Hewitt, NPCC chairman
Police patrolling in Scarborough during lockdown Credit: PA

The figures come after senior officers warned of tougher enforcement during the latest national lockdown in England.

The Metropolitan Police said people could be stopped by police to explain why they are away from home with Londoners breaching Covid legislation "increasingly likely to face fines".

People not wearing masks when they should be "and without good reason" can also expect to be "fined - not reasoned with", the force said.

-12%

Preliminary crime figures show that total crime was down 12% in November 2020

Preliminary crime figures also published by the NPCC on Friday showed that total crime was down 12% in November last year.

Crime remains lower than at the same point last year. However, the demand on the police service is significant.

Martin Hewitt, NPCC chairman

"Today's release of statistics confirms the correlation of lower crime levels during periods of national lockdown."