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People aged from 17 to 74 fined in Norfolk for breaching lockdown rules, new data reveals

PUBLISHED: 12:05 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 13 July 2020

PC Francine Heath, PC Glenn Barnes and Sgt Jennifer Hills on coronavirus lockdown patrol in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

PC Francine Heath, PC Glenn Barnes and Sgt Jennifer Hills on coronavirus lockdown patrol in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

More than three quarters of people fined by police in Norfolk for breaching lockdown restrictions are men, new data has revealed.

Police patrol along Great Yarmouth's quiet seafront during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice patrol along Great Yarmouth's quiet seafront during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Eighty per cent of those handed Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) by Norfolk Constabulary between the start of lockdown and June 21 were male, according to statistics released by the force.

Meanwhile, almost half (44pc) of its arrests for coronavirus-related offences have resulted in a charge.

The first fine in the county came on April 1, nine days after Boris Johnson announced strict new rules placing unprecedented limitations on UK life.

PC Tash Snelling and PC Peter Baitey patrolling Eaton Park, Norwich, during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPC Tash Snelling and PC Peter Baitey patrolling Eaton Park, Norwich, during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police officers in England were not given powers to enforce rules on staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel until March 26.

Since then, 418 people in Norfolk have received FPNs, 333 of which were male and 83 female. Two people’s gender was classed as self-defined.

Thirty of those fined were teenagers, with the youngest being a 17-year-old boy. The oldest person fined so far during lockdown is a 74-year-old man.

Sgt Jennifer Hills on patrol in Hunstanton during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Ian BurtSgt Jennifer Hills on patrol in Hunstanton during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Ian Burt

The age bracket with the highest number of breaches was 20 to 29 year olds, who made up 147 of the overall offences (35pc). The second-highest was 30 to 39 year olds, who flouted rules 113 times (27pc).

A total of 328 people (78pc) were handed FPNs for being contrary to legislation known as Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, while 61 (15pc) ignored restriction of movement requirements.

Twenty-two were fined for being involved in public gatherings of more than two people.

Police giving out fines to people at Wells beach for not following lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: ArchantPolice giving out fines to people at Wells beach for not following lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Archant

Since March, 36 people have been arrested in Norfolk for reasons concerning Covid-19, 20 of whom were detained on suspicion of an offence relating to events, gatherings and premises.

Seven were arrested on suspicion of an offence relating to a potentially infectious person.

In all, 16 arrests have resulted in a charge, while three people faced no further action.

Police on patrol during coronavirus lockdown at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMANPolice on patrol during coronavirus lockdown at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The powers given to police in March meant officers could order the public to return to their homes or leave an area, as well as disperse gatherings - using “reasonable force” if necessary.

Initially, officers could award on-the-spot FPNs of £60, before the amount increased to £100 in May.

Norfolk Constabulary declined to comment on the latest statistics.


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