Police dish out 400 Covid fines during first nine days of lockdown in Northamptonshire

"It is unthinkable now after ten months of this that people do not understand the rules"

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 18th January 2021, 10:54 am
Updated Monday, 18th January 2021, 10:58 am

Police dished out more than 400 Covid fines in Northamptonshire during the first nine days of the latest lockdown.

Home Secretary Priti Patel backed a tougher approach to enforcing Covid restrictions at last Tuesday's Government briefing.

Yet the man in charge of policing the lockdown in the county says the local Force says it is already ahead of the game

Superintendent Elliot Foskett insisted: "People can see how seriously we are taking this and dealing with it locally.

"Since the third lockdown started we have placed even greater emphasis on enforcing the regulations.

"It is unthinkable now after ten months of this that people do not understand the rules."

Laws aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus kicked in on January 6.

Superintendent Elliot Foskett

Anyone going out without good reason, failing to self-isolate, meeting up with more than person from another household or not wearing a face mask when they should can get a minimum £200 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Police issued 848 Covid tickets in Northamptonshire up to December 20 but Supt Foskett revealed his officers dished out another 413 between January 6 and January 14 and have so far responded to 12,000 emails reporting breaches.

He added: "We also issued 166 fines on New Year's Eve. The Met Police issued 217 in London, so you can see that is a huge number for a county of our size.

"Prior to the Downing street Press Conference last week, Northants Police have been ahead of this in relation to enforcement and taking action where flagrant breaches are evident.

Home Secretary Priti Patel. Photo: Getty Images

"I have made significant changes to our response plans to ensure we have resources to attend every breach report we can — and we are attending a huge amount of them."

Organisers of illegal parties and events have also landed 14 'super fines' of £10,000 each since December 5.

They also insisted organisers of a funeral attended by more than 150 people in Kettering would be ticketed following a public outcry. But a spokesman last week admitted no decision has been made.

Police also admitted being unable to say how many of the £10,000 fines issued have actually been paid.