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Police issue more than 200 coronavirus fines in Surrey

3 minute read
Police issue more than 200 coronavirus fines in Surrey

Published by Lettie Buxton at 5:41pm 15th April 2020. (Updated at 7:36am 16th April 2020)

A total of 205 coronavirus fines have been issued in Surrey to people not following government guidelines, according to figures from the National Police Chief’s Council.

They were issued between 12.01am on 27 March and 12.01am on 13 April.

Of those Fixed Penalty Notices, 114 were handed out over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (10 to 13 April).

Surrey Police Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said this figure was a tiny proportion when compared to the significant number of people officers have engaged with, adding:

"Our approach has been, and remains, to encourage and support people to make the right choices to comply with the restrictions in place, and to only use enforcement as a last resort.

"Thankfully, the vast majority of people are fully complying with the guidance and we thank them for helping to stop the spread of the virus.

"Our officers and PSCOs are engaging with literally thousands of people every day.

"While most have adhered to our advice and have had genuine reasons for being outdoors, a very small minority of people have refused to cooperate.

"Notably, a significant proportion of fines were issued to people who had travelled into the county during the bank holiday weekend to visit local beauty spots, which clearly goes against advice and we will be working to further deter this."

Nationally, a total of 3,203 fines have been issued across all 40 forces in England during this same period.

People have been given a £60 on-the-spot fine, which is reduced to £30 if paid within 30 days.

The chief constable added:

"This is new legislation and we are learning every day.

"Our officers and PSCOs are being asked to use their professional judgement and common sense around the legislation which does not cater for the range of complex lives that people lead.

"We will only use the new powers when we need them, and will continue to police by consent where we can and with the trust and help of our local communities. 

"Overwhelmingly, people are making the right choices and doing the right thing to support the NHS and help prevent the spread of the virus in Surrey."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro, has thanked the majority of Surrey residents who are following the government guidance.

But, he urged those travelling into the county to visit beauty spots to "please stay away and help prevent the spread of this virus".

Under government regulations, people should only leave their homes to:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • Exercise once a day, such as run, walk, or cycle, alone or with members of their household
  • Give any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travel for work purposes, but only where they cannot work from home