Hundreds fined for breaching lockdown rules in Lancashire
More than 600 fines have been handed to people in Lancashire for allegedly flouting Covid-19 lockdown laws, new figures reveal.
Hampshire Constabulary's Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen said a "vast majority" of fines enforced nationally are a result of residents not complying, being out in public spaces without excuse and ignoring police advice.
Police forces have been given powers to hand out a £60 penalty, reduced to £30 if paid within two weeks, for breaches of the lockdown rules.
Data published by the National Police Chiefs' Council shows 633 fixed penalty notices were recorded by Lancashire Constabulary between March 27 and April 27.
Of those, 469 were issued up to April 13, with a further 164 handed out in the two weeks to April 27.
More than 9,000 fines were handed to people across England and Wales during the month-long period – a figure which the NPCC said represents around 0.02% of the population.
Nearly 400 were for repeat offenders, with one person fined six times, three people fined five times and six people fined four times.
Of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, Thames Valley Police recorded the highest number of fines, with 649, while Warwickshire issued the fewest, with just 22.
Ms Glen said reports of anti-social behaviour more than doubled nationally to around 215,000 in the four weeks to April 27, compared to 106,000 in the same period last year.
She added that younger people were more likely to breach the lockdown rules, with figures showing around eight out of 10 people fined across England and Wales were men, a third were aged between 18-24 and another third aged 25-34.
"The vast majority of the fines that we're seeing enforced are people actually not complying, being out in public spaces where they don't have a reasonable excuse to do so, not listening to the officers' advice in respect of engaging and explaining to the extent where the officer then has to issue a ticket to secure compliance," she said.
"There are some definite correlations when it gets hot and where we see troublesome spots."
NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said police will face a different challenge when regulations are relaxed and more people are allowed out of their homes.
"I think it's inevitable that people will get restless. This is now quite an extended period of time," he said.
"This is hard on everybody adapting their lives.
"Over the weekend we sensed across the country a little bit more traffic on the roads and a few more people out and about.
"But having said all of that, we are still seeing the same level of compliance from people."