179 fines handed out to Covid-19 rule-breakers by police over the weekend in Lancashire
Hundreds of fines were issued by police in Lancashire over the weekend following reports of parties, unnecessary journeys and breaches of Covid-regulations.
Officers said they had a "busy weekend" after dishing out 179 fines and carrying out several proactive checks across the county, adding "too many" people refused to stay at home or stay local despite the national lockdown.
Throughout Lancashire, police said they caught people throwing parties, gathering with others from outside their household, making unnecessary journeys and, in spite of the government ordering all sports and leisure providers to close, a gym in Preston which remained open.
Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, of Lancashire Police, said: A busy weekend for Lancashire Police, especially COVID Policing.
"A number of fines were issued for parties and unnecessary journeys etc.
"Please stay at home, please stay local. Too many didn’t this weekend but thanks to those that did."
Lancashire Police said its position remains clear; Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of Coronavirus and those who flagrantly breach the rules will be fined.
DCC Terry Woods said they will "continue to take a common sense and proportionate approach" when dealing with incidents, but those who deliberately disregard the law "can expect to have enforcement action taken against them very quickly, including being fined."
He said in a statement issued last week: "The lockdown rules are in place to save lives and stop the NHS being overwhelmed.
"Nurses and doctors across Lancashire are already under huge pressure and we all have to follow the regulations to help them.
“We know how tough it is right now and that many people are exhausted.
"We’re confident though that the vast majority of people will take personal responsibility and do the right thing by sticking to both the law and the associated advice/guidance.
"The Coronavirus pandemic is reaching a critical stage in Lancashire, with rates rising rapidly everywhere and some boroughs approaching or well above 700 weekly cases per 100,000 people."
"We are proud of the county’s response all the way from March 2020 and we want to thank everyone for playing their part.
"We’ll continue to take a common sense and proportionate approach as we have since the pandemic started.
"We’ve done our best to help people follow the rules and show compassion for those in difficulty whilst also enforcing the law where the public
would rightly expect us to.
"We will carry on engaging with people and being balanced but where people deliberately flout and disregard the law they can expect to have enforcement action taken against them very quickly, including being fined.
"Restrictions on social mixing remain in force and we are really clear that large gatherings, house parties and events which break the law must not take place – they have the highest risk of harm and we will take immediate action against them.
"We will get through this but we need everyone to pull together and do their bit."
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