More than 1,000 coronavirus fines handed out by West Yorkshire Police since start of pandemic

West Yorkshire Police have issued more than 1,000 fines relating to new coronavirus rules since the start of the pandemic, new figures have revealed.

By Jonathan Pritchard
Saturday, 9th January 2021, 10:22 am

Data published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) shows a total of 32,329 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by forces in England and Wales between March 27 and December 21 last year.

During that period, West Yorkshire Police accounted for 1,061 of those fines.

Among those would be Quinn Blakey hair salon, in Oakenshaw, which stayed open during the second lockdown. The owner, Sinead Quinn, racked up a total of £17,000 in fines over the lockdown period, having been issued a £1,000 fine on November 9, a £2,000 fine on November 12, a £4,000 fine on November 21, and a £10,000 fine on November 23.

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West Yorkshire Police have handed out more than 1,000 coronavirus-related fines.

The report said there has been a downward trend in recent weeks following a rise in fines as restrictions were tightened from September, with the peak of 3,288 coming during the week of the Easter Bank Holiday in April.

The most recent weekly figures showed 542 tickets were handed out across England and Wales in the week to December 17, compared with 821 in the previous seven days. Some 6,475 fines were issued during England’s second national lockdown in November, according to the data.

Although the NPCC figures do not cover the Christmas and New Year period, Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that more than 800 fines have been handed out for breaches of coronavirus rules over the last two weeks.

NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said: “Enforcement doesn’t and shouldn’t always equal police involvement or the issuance of a fixed penalty notice.”

But he added: “It is right for officers to be inquisitive about why individuals may be away from home.

“Those who blatantly ignore the regulations should expect to receive a fixed penalty notice and we’ll target our resources towards those who commit the most serious breaches and put others at risk through their behaviour.”

The figures come after senior officers warned of tougher enforcement during the latest national lockdown in England.

The Metropolitan Police said people could be stopped by officers to explain why they are away from home, with Londoners breaching Covid legislation “increasingly likely to face fines”.

People not wearing masks when they should be “and without good reason” can also expect to be “fined – not reasoned with”, the force said.