Increase of Covid breaches and Fixed Penalty Notices in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland
Police have noticed an increasing amount of Covid breaches being reported to them, which has led to more Fixed Penalty Notices being issued.
Since January 4, officers in Leicestershire and Rutland have handed out a total of 361 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to the value of £72,200.
This included an incident which officers attended on January 8 in which six men gathered at a private address in Stretton. The men, who claimed they were having a business meeting over beer and food, were from different households and none were 'bubbled' together.
There have been a further 1,246 reports of Covid incidents to Leicestershire Police since January 4 and 22 assaults on officers.
Since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020, Leicestershire Police has given out a total of 1,298 FPNs and received a total of 20,996 reports of Covid-related incidents. This is about 488 average reports a week.
Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “We are really grateful for all of those people who are staying in and not taking risks. By doing this you are enabling us to do our job tackling crime and supporting victims.
"We have certainly seen an increase in reports to us of Covid rule breaches and therefore as a result we are handing out more Fixed Penalty Notices.
"We share the public’s frustration that the small minority are still taking terrible risks but we continue to police to keep people safe.”
She added: “With vaccine programmes rolling out and there finally being a glimmer of hope, we want the public to continue to contact us, via the website or 101, and tell us where people are ignoring the rules.
"Police officers risk their lives every day and I know how much they appreciate the support of the public, allowing them to tackle crime in our city and counties.”
Lincolnshire Police is also dealing with people continuing to breach Covid rules.
From the beginning of the first lockdown in March last year to January 17 a total of 576 fines have been issued in the county.
Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said: “By and large everybody has been patient and they are doing their utmost to make sure that we are as a county looking after the vulnerable and being as safe as we can.
“We do however have a number of Covid breaches that are increasing here in Lincolnshire and that takes a toll on our officers to be able to deal with them.
“Some of them are quite flagrant breaches such as parties in the woods, or people travelling to go and visit a football stadium. That is breaking the rules and we are dealing with those very robustly.
“But we do have a number of people who are bending the rules as well and that might be as simple as having an extra support bubble, or just meeting somebody to go for a coffee or inviting somebody into your house to have coffee."
She added that there is not a separate team of people dealing with Covid breaches so breaking the rules takes officers away from other serious offences.