Posted: Fri 15th May 2020

North Wales Police hand out 143 fines for breaking lockdown rules

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, May 15th, 2020

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Latest figures show that 799 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been handed out by police forces in Wales for breaches of lockdown regulations.

The provisional data published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) shows the total FPN’s issued since lockdown measures came into force and May 11.

Welsh and UK government’s introduced public health regulations on 27 March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The regulations have enabled officers to issue individuals with fines if they failed to comply after officers have engaged with them, explained the risks to public health and encouraged voluntary compliance.

Currently, fines in Wales begin at £60 and go up to £120 for repeat offenders. 

These fines can be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

Fines in England now begin at £100, reduced to £50 if paid promptly, and can go up to £3,200 for repeat offenders.

In North Wales, police have issued 70 FPN’s for lockdown breaches up to May 11, the second-lowest of the four Welsh forces.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: “The vast majority of people continue to do the right thing, which protects the NHS and helps save lives.

“The figures show our approach is proportionate with just 0.02 per cent of the population in England and Wales being issued with a fine.

“I want to thank people for continuing to follow the regulations – I recognise it’s not easy and that this is a challenging time for us all. Our approach of – engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce – will continue. It is working across the UK. I urge the public to keep going, keep following the advice.

“Officers are working hard to keep us all safe from the full range of crimes in what remain challenging circumstances so we would ask everyone to work with us and remember that if you need our help we are here for you.”

The North Wales police and crime commissioner has criticised the First Minister for not increasing fines for those found breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

Arfon Jones also called on Mark Drakeford to award police with powers to evict those not staying in primary residences.

Following representations made by chief constables to the Welsh Government asking for parity of fines with England, PCCs for all four forces will now be writing again, despite ministers in Cardiff stating they were not planning to change the fine system.

Mr Jones said: “We’ve long called for fines as a deterrent for people travelling into Wales and within Wales, but Mark Drakeford has declined to change the fines.

“The movement of people from more densely populated areas with higher infection rates to more rural communities is create un-needed tensions.

“It feels like communities in North Wales are being left behind and let down, and at a crucial time at that.

“The local population is understandably anxious about the prospect of rising infection rates, which is already predicted by the health board due to a later peak than in the more densely populated south of Wales. Our priority is to protect these communities.”

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment. A spokesperson is quoted on BBC Wales as saying: “We are not planning to change the fine system in Wales at the moment but we are keeping the matter under consideration.”

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