Sunderland Echo

Police hand out over 3,000 Covid-19 fines

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More than 3,000 fines have been handed out by police for breaches of Covid-19 laws by police in the North East, figures show.

Data from by the National Police Chiefs Council shows 3,034 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by Northumbri­a Police between March 27 and December 20 last year.

Durham Constabula­ry issued 253.

Of those in the Northumbri­a Police area, 793 were for breaches of coronaviru­s laws during the first few months of the pandemic, 1,318 were linked to the tiered alert in October, and 774 in the November national lockdown.

There were 137 for failing to wear a face covering when required, and 11 for travel rules.

There was one for holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

In Durham, 197 were issued during the first few months of the pandemic, none were linked to the tiered alert in October, and 34 in the November national lockdown.

There were five for failing to wear a face covering when required and five for breaching internatio­nal travel rules. There were also four for breaking business regulation­s and one for a gatherings of more than 30 people.

Nationally, police forces issued 32,329 notices, though the NPCC said there had been a downward trend in recent weeks.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The vast majority of people have supported this national effort and followed the rules. But the tragic number of new cases and deaths shows there is still a need for strong enforcemen­t where people are clearly breaking these rules."

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