The area where most people have been fined for breaking coronavirus rules

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3 min read
Police officers wearing face masks in St Peter's Square, Manchester, as the Government is preparing to impose stringent new coronavirus controls on 2.8 million people after talks with the local leaders for Greater Manchester failed to reach agreement. Leaders have been given until midday on Tuesday to reach a deal, or face unilateral Government action, after 10 days of negotiations failed to reach an agreement. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police officers wearing face masks in St Peter's Square, Manchester (Picture: Getty)

More than 20,000 fines have been issued to people for breaching coronavirus restrictions in England and Wales, according to new figures.

Data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on Wednesday showed 20,223 fines were handed out by police between 27 March and 19 October – 17,451 in England and 2,772 in Wales.

The areas where most people have received penalties are Dyfed-Powys (1,735), North Yorkshire (1,151), London (1,131) and Devon & Cornwall (1,009).

Around two-thirds of coronavirus fines have been handed to those under the age of 35, police figures show.

The stats revealed eight in 10 of the enforcement notices were issued to men, 78%, while 35% went to 18 to 24-year-olds, 18% to those aged 25-29 and 14% to people aged 30-34.

Where the person fined self-identified their ethnicity, 80% went to a white person, 12% to an Asian person and 5% to someone who is black.

Watch: Coronavirus death toll rises in UK

Fines include 980 for breaches of local lockdown laws – with the majority issued by the Greater Manchester (374) and Northumbria (366) forces.

Overall, the weekly number of fines rose between mid-September and early October.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “We have seen an increase in enforcement activity in the last month, reflecting new regulations coming into effect, and a shift towards quicker enforcement against those knowingly breaking the rules.

He added: “Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement. Individuals, businesses and a range of agencies all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed, and police will continue to play their part.”

Provisional figures for the new three-tier system show 268 fines have been issued in England, with 65 handed out for a breach of regulations in Tier 1, 79 in Tier 2, and 124 in Tier 3.

Also in England, 64 fines were issued for large gatherings such as illegal raves and parties, carrying a £10,000 penalty.

Two were handed out in Wales.

Watch: What is long COVID?

There were also 399 fines for breaches of the rule of six, that came into force on 14 September.

On face coverings, 258 fixed penalties were handed out between 15 June and 19 October.

Of these, 86 were on public transport, handed out by nine forces, while 172 were in settings such as shops, across 21 forces.

In total 47 fines were handed out to businesses in England for breaches including not closing at 10pm, not enforcing face mask rules and not sticking to table service.

International quarantine figures show that up to 19 October, 4,518 cases investigated by the police found the person abiding by the rules, while another 284 were in breach but they were persuaded to obey the rules without being fined.

Police issued 125 fines to those failing to self-isolate after arriving in England from a country on the UK government quarantine list.

The total number of fixed-penalty notices issued by police forces for breaches of coronavirus restrictions between 27 March and 19 October.

Forces in England are listed first, followed by Wales.

England:

Avon and Somerset 376

Bedfordshire 279

British Transport Police 325

Cambridgeshire 140

Cheshire 203

City of London 73

Cleveland 300

Cumbria 740

Derbyshire 255

Devon & Cornwall 1,009

Dorset 849

Durham 196

Essex 248

Gloucestershire 232

Greater Manchester 781

Hampshire 255

Hertfordshire 274

Humberside 143

Kent 128

Lancashire 865

Leicestershire 419

Lincolnshire 238

Merseyside 629

Metropolitan 1,131

MoD Police 37

Norfolk 415

North Yorkshire 1,151

Northamptonshire 374

Northumbria 663

Nottinghamshire 205

South Yorkshire 375

Staffordshire 43

Suffolk 262

Surrey 514

Sussex 868

Thames Valley 780

Warwickshire 83

West Mercia 234

West Midlands 401

West Yorkshire 772

Wiltshire 186

Wales:

British Transport Police 24

Dyfed-Powys 1,735

Gwent 138

North Wales 533

South Wales 342

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