Some of the worst excuses police have heard from people breaking lockdown rules

North and West Devon Police @NWDevonPolice.
A group of surfers who had travelled all the way from London to North Devon were given fines and ordered to turn back by police. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The list of excuses people are giving for breaking coronavirus restrictions is getting longer and weirder.

"Fishing trips", "a break from the wife and kids" and "I get tested every week" are just a few police have heard.

Devon and Cornwall Police attended a house party in Plympton at the weekend where 16 people were fined £800 each.

The large gathering left police "lost for words" as they had all gathered in the living room of the property in Spindle Crescent.

However, their excuses were the icing on the cake for officers, who dished out £12,800 worth of fines.

Police stated the excuses included "I know what we did was wrong but we’re in our 20s and we just want to enjoy ourselves" and "I get tested every week anyway, I'm a dental nurse."

Credit: PA images

Last year, one family drove all the way from London during the night to enjoy a fishing trip in Devon. They were kicked out of the county and handed fines.

Another driver was reported for driving across the county to pick up a second-hand boat they had just bought.

One officer from the Alliance roads Policing stopped two people while manning a motorcycle checkpoint in Cullompton.

One said they were taking a beehive to a field while the other claimed they were taking a PlayStation console to a friend's house.

Another motorist, caught on a 170-mile road trip, was stopped near Launceston and claimed he'd driven his BMW "to have a break from the wife and three kids".

Sgt Dan Box, neighbourhood team leader for the north and east sector of Plymouth said the majority of the responses officer's heard when attending suspected Covid breaches surrounded people's ignorance of the rules.

He said: "We've had calls where it turns out to be breaches out of ignorance. You'll have grandparents visiting one set of grandchildren on a Monday and then the next day they're visiting another set of grandchildren.

"The main issue is their understanding of support bubbles.

"We have incidents where neighbours will sometimes see grandparents visiting the same grandchildren so to them it appears like there's lots of visits.

"It understandably rubs people up the wrong way, but when turn up they often find it is legitimate.

"Then again, we get some cases where it's clear the person is lying or acting out of stupidity, claiming they weren't aware of the rules.

"And then we got the 'covid's not real' people as well as the 'I won't get it because I'm young'.

"One of my colleagues dealt with the guy who drove from London to visit his girlfriend, claiming that because she was his partner, she was in his 'bubble'.

"Then there was the guy who had travelled to Wales and then back again, saying it was a recreational journey for his mental health.

"I do think there's a lot of people who legitimately do not understand some of rules, especially around bubbles. Then there are definitely others who try to manipulate their Covid-breach to fit the guidelines.

"We've encountered people who are just trying their luck - they're not daft, they know exactly what they're doing and they know they're breaching the guidelines.

"People need to take it much more seriously. We need that last push to keep to the guidelines".

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