House parties and non-essential journeys - 66 Covid fines issued by police

Police officers and Covid marshalls meeting ahead of a patrol last year. Credit: PA

Avon and Somerset Police officers handed out 66 fixed penalty notices this weekend.

It follows 489 reports of suspected Covid-19 breaches from Friday 19 February through to Sunday 21 February.

On Friday officers responded to reports of a house party on Cheltenham Road, Bristol, and found approximately 30 people in attendance.

A man in his 40s was arrested and has since been charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker.

He has been released on bail and will appear in court in due course. He was also issued with a fine for breaching Covid-19 regulations.

On Sunday afternoon, three fines were issued at Hannover Quay in Bristol following reports of a large number of people present – some of whom had travelled from as far as Trowbridge and Saltford. More than 50 vehicles were turned away from the area.

A £1,000 fine was issued to a business owner in south Bristol after officers on patrol found a car wash being operated against lockdown regulations. 

Overall, across the force this weekend:

  • 50 fines were issued to people attending unauthorised gatherings

  • 14 fines were issued to people found to be outside their homes/making journeys without a reasonable excuse

  • One fine was issued to a person for obstructing an officer whilst enforcing Covid regulations

  • One fine was issued for contravening a requirement to close premises and business.

Generic image of police officer Credit: Joe Giddens / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said: “Almost a year into this public health emergency, and several weeks into this latest lockdown, it’s disappointing that officers were called to so many reports of Covid-19 breaches this weekend.

“No-one should still be in any doubt as to what the current rules are, or the importance of abiding by them to stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.

“We will continue to advise the public and encourage them to follow the regulations, but where there are deliberate and flagrant breaches of the legislation people can expect to be fined.

“We appreciate the vast majority of people are however complying with the rules to limit the spread of COVID-19 and we thank them for doing so.”

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