Police give out more tickets in January than all of 2020 for Covid rule breakers
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During this current lockdown police have stepped up enforcement activity across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
As a result since 1 January to 2 February, a total of 889 fixed penalty notices have been issued to people who are breaching the Covid rules.
This total amount is more than the amount of tickets issued for the whole of last year’s pandemic totalling 850.
Police have also released an online video where an officer states his health worker wife has been crying for two weeks as she ’honestly cannot watch people die anymore’ as he hands out tickets to Covid rule breakers.
The officer, who was on a routine patrol, is seen to approach a vehicle near to East Midlands Airport where he finds two people who have driven from West Bridgford, nearly 13 miles away. The couple claim to be ‘just watching planes.’ He issues two fixed penalty notices and asks them to ‘please pay attention to the guidelines; people are dying.’
Assistant Chief Constable Kerry Smith said: “We continue to say thank you to all of the public who are complying with the rules and understand why they are in place. This is allowing us to continue to do other work tackling crime and getting some really good results. The bottom line is that we have had to step up our enforcement as the message was not getting through to the small minority who are continuing to ignore the rules.
“We also have to thank the public for helping us by reporting Covid breaches to us. In the last month we received 2,480 calls relating to the pandemic. This is double the amount of calls we were receiving before this current lockdown. We need the public’s information to guide us and we have been clear as to what the consequences are.
“We are continuing to engage with the public but we are being more proactive in giving out the tickets where possible.
“We continue to share the public’s frustration that the small minority are still taking terrible risks.”
Since 1 January 2021, officers have issued a total of 889 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to the approximate value of £170,000.
Since 23 March 2020 to 2 February 2021, Leicestershire Police have given out a total of 1,739 FPNs and have received a total of 21,508 reports of Covid incidents.
17 licensed premises were visited during this period.
The following outlines new examples of breaches to show where police are giving out FPNs during January:
- On 18 January a man is stopped in Leicester and tells officers he lives in Walsall but has driven to Leicester to visit family.
- On 18 January, police attend Tesco supermarket at Beaumont Shopping Centre to find a man not wearing a facemask and without a reasonable excuse for not wearing one.
- On 18 January, a man stopped in a car on Glenfrith Way, Leicester, was found to have driven from Bradford to Leicester without a reasonable excuse.
- On 19 January, officers attended Merlin Heights student accommodation to reports of a party with over 30 people – the crowd had dispersed leaving only five men who did not live at the address and were fined.
- On 20 January, a vehicle was stopped with four males in it not from the same household. They claimed to be going to get a McDonalds meal.
- On 21 January, 8-10 people had gathered at a local skate park in Market Harborough, ignoring signs that the park is closed.
- On 22 January, a group of five people were found at a residential address from different households in Leicester. Officers were sworn at when they told the ticket recipient that we were in lockdown.
- On 23 January, a man who had tested positive was seen to be shopping in his local shop in Ibstock, North West Leicestershire. When speaking to police he also confesses to going to a BP Garage.
- On 23 January, a man is found in a private property in Coalville having travelled from London in order to do DIY for the family.
- On 23 January, four people are fined as they are in one vehicle but are from different households – they tell officers that they just wanted ‘to hang out’.
- On 23 January, seven people from different households were found in a private address in Syston who had gathered to watch the boxing.
- On 24 January, police attend a private address in Heritage Way, Leicester finding four people from different households having a party.
- On 24 January, four friends are stopped by police at 2.40am in Leicester City, they state they are on their way to get food and are all from different households.
- On 25 January, four people were stopped in a car in Blaby who have driven there from Kent.
- On 26 January, a man was stopped in West Street, Leicester and admitted to police he was from Manchester.
- On 28 January, in Salisbury Road, Leicester officers find a number of people and cars just ‘chilling’ at the location. They provide no other reason for being there and are from different households.