This is the round-up of the weekend's 224 lockdown fines - including a gym opening and walks on Blackpool Prom

Birthday parties, strolls along Blackpool Prom and people training at a gym - these are just some of the 281 lockdown incidents investigated by Lancashire Police this weekend.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 2:45 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:22 pm

A total of 281 suspected breaches of lockdown were reported to the force at the weekend, with 224 people fined for flouting restrictions.

It is an increase of 162 fines compared to last weekend, prompting concerns that people's compliance with restrictions has begun to lapse since the Government announced its "roadmap" out of lockdown last week.

But Lancashire Police chiefs say that it is important that we continue to follow lockdown restrictions until they are officially abolished in the weeks to come. Otherwise, the force warns, we risk jeopardising the work we have done to bring infections down.

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The force is asking the public to tolerate the current restrictions for the next few weeks to prevent another rise in infections - and to avoid the need to extend lockdown.

A police spokesman said: "Between 7am on Friday (February 26) and 5.30am today (Monday, March 1) we issued a total of 224 tickets for breaches of the Coronavirus regulations, which is a rise on the 162 tickets issued last weekend.

"This is in line with the general increase in demand we have seen, possibly as a result of the good weather."

The force said incidents from the last three days include:

A total of 281 suspected breaches of lockdown were reported to Lancashire Police this weekend, with 224 people fined for flouting restrictions

- A number of people from Birmingham and Bradford enjoying walks on Blackpool Promenade

- Several people failing to self-isolate after arriving in the UK from abroad

- A birthday party at a home in Blackpool, with between 10 and 15 people in attendance

- Several different groups of people from different addresses socialising in Ormskirk

A number of people from Birmingham and Bradford were fined for "enjoying walks on Blackpool Promenade", said Lancashire Police

- A birthday party in Buckshaw with at least 10 people in attendance

- Plus several people from different addresses found out and about in vehicles together

Lancashire Police said the two main reasons for issuing tickets were house parties - which alone accounted for 122 of the 224 tickets issued over the weekend - and people mixing or travelling with people outside of their household.

Ch Supt Sam Mackenzie said: "We know a lot of people feel this lockdown has been especially difficult, and some fatigue may have set in. However, we also have hope that in the near future the lockdown restrictions won’t be necessary.

Detective chief constable Terry Woods said "lots of house parties" and people travelling to Lancashire from long distances away ‘for a drive’ accounted for the majority of the lockdown breaches over the weekend

"We put that at risk if we become complacent now. Infection rates are still high in parts of the county and it is really unfortunate and disappointing that we’ve seen an increase in the reports of breaches of the regulations this weekend.

"What worries me most is that if people relax too soon we won’t come out of the restrictions as quickly as is possible."

He added: "That said I am really pleased to say most of the communities of Lancashire are still be doing their very best to stay within regulations and follow the guidance, and the breaches we are reporting reflect the particularly selfish actions of a minority of people.

"We are continuing to spend most of our time dealing with crime and keeping people safe, and having to attend breaches of Coronavirus rules is not a welcome distraction when people should and do know better.

"We have always taken a proportionate approach to issuing fixed penalty notices – educating, explaining and engaging first, with enforcement as a last resort – but we will not hesitate to take a firmer approach when people blatantly break the rules.

"Our sincere thanks, as always, go to the majority of people who are continuing to follow the regulations. We are incredibly grateful to them for doing their bit in fighting the virus."

Detective chief constable Terry Woods urged the public to "keep our discipline" to ensure that lockdown can be lifted safely in the weeks to come.

He said: "We’re all looking forward to releasing lockdown. But to pass each stage we all need to keep our discipline and abide by the guidance

"In just 24 hours on Saturday, Lancashire Police dealt with 281 COVID incidents, one of our highest 24 hour periods.

"Lots of house parties, a gym open, nine Wigan non-student types trying to crash Lancashire student digs to start a party, car full of unrelated people sniffing gas, travelling to Lancashire from long distances away ‘for a drive’ - just a selection from a long list.

"Please folks, let’s keep doing it for Lancashire."

Anybody who would like to report a suspected breach of the regulations can do it online here.