Man told police he drove 100 miles during lockdown to 'get a McDonald's'

A stock image of a McDonald's branch.
A general view of a McDonald's branch. Credit: PA

A man has been fined after telling police he had driven 100 miles in lockdown to ‘get a McDonald’s’ - despite the town not having one.

Wiltshire Police stopped a man who had travelled from Luton to Devizes on Thursday 14 January. The man was fined £200 after claiming he had travelled to the town to get a McDonald’s.

The man was just one of dozens of people handed fines or warnings by Wiltshire Police last week.

The force issued 21 fixed penalty notices to lockdown rule-breakers between Monday 11 January and Sunday 17 January as well as 104 warnings.

The people fined also included three men, aged 18, 19 and 21, who had travelled from Bath to Calne to use a skate park. The three men were fined £200. 

What fines were issued for

In total, Wiltshire Police received 357 reports from members of the public about coronavirus lockdown breaches and the force recorded four Covid-related crimes and 35 Covid-related incidents. 

Officers also recorded 15 interactions with members of the public, 11 of which were because of large groups and four because of people failing to isolate.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said officers on patrol over the weekend had raised particular concern about the lack of social distancing.

He said: "Over the past week, we have continued with our proactive policing patrols across the county.

"The teams who patrolled both Lydiard Park and Coate Water in Swindon raised concerns about people gathering in groups and failing to socially distance.

"While we appreciate that people need to get outdoors for exercise, we need to remind everyone that they shouldn't be meeting groups of friends or sitting down for picnics.

"The law states that people can leave their homes to exercise, but the guidance says that this should be limited to once a day and that you should not travel outside your local area.

"Therefore, the onus is on everyone to take personal responsibility, such that they do not increase the risk of the spread of the virus. We would also ask the public to remember the importance of social distancing in public and to sensibly avoid places where it may be difficult to ensure a safe distance."

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said it was important that everyone considered the potential risks when they were out and about.

He said: "We know that many people who have Covid-19 could be completely unaware, as they are asymptomatic.

"The advice from the Government scientists is to act as if you have the virus, to reduce the risk of you passing it on to others.

"Therefore, even if you feel completely healthy you should do your bit to protect other people by regularly washing your hands, wearing a face covering when required, and keeping your distance from others."

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